Wales face a tough opening pool game against South Africa in the 2011 World Cup to be staged in New Zealand.
Wales will kick off their 2011 World Cup campaign against reigning champions South Africa at Wellington's Regional Stadium on Sunday September 11.
Warren Gatland's men have also been drawn in Pool D alongside Fiji and two sides yet to be confirmed, one from Oceania and one from Africa.
The tournament will kick of on Friday, September 9 with hosts New Zealand taking on the surprise packet from the last tournament, Tonga.
The 48 tournament matches are scheduled across 13 venues in 13 cities: Auckland, North Shore, Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Invercargill.
Rugby World Cup (RWCL) Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: "The sporting world is awaiting with great excitement the next chapter in Rugby World Cup history and we are delighted that New Zealand, a country so rich in Rugby heritage and tradition, is the host of Rugby World Cup 2011."
"A lot of work and collaboration has gone into the match schedule and the selection of match venues. This has included input from the IRB, Rugby New Zealand 2011 and the cities and regions of New Zealand. The RWCL Board is very happy with the outcome and believes this is the best balanced schedule we have seen for a Rugby World Cup in terms of benefitting player welfare."
Speaking at the announcement in Auckland, RWCL Managing Director Mike Miller said: "While the number of match venues is more than Australia 2003 and France 2007 it reflects the Organising Committee's desire to take the tournament to the entire nation under its call to arms of a Stadium of Four Million People philosophy. RWCL fully supports this and the desire to ensure the tournament has a unique Look and Feel that fits in with the cultural background of the nation."
RNZ 2011 Chief Executive Martin Snedden said: "We believe today's announcement builds on the knockout venue decisions announced last year and takes us further towards the fulfilment of our promise that the tournament will touch the whole of New Zealand."
"Rugby World Cup is much more than a series of 48 rugby matches. It will be an international festival across New Zealand quite unlike the country has even seen and will attract up to 60,000 international visitors," added Mr Snedden.
The two venues and the quarter-final matches they will host have also been confirmed. Wellington will host Quarter-final 1 (winner Pool C versus runner-up Pool D) and Quarter-final 3 (winner Pool D versus runner-up Pool C) while Christchurch will host Quarter-final 2 (winner Pool B versus runner-up Pool A) and Quarter-final 4 (winner Pool A versus runner-up Pool B). Auckland will host both semi-finals.
In addition, the dates for the final weekend, which coincides with Labour Day, were also confirmed with the Bronze Final to take place on Friday October 21 at Eden Park, followed by the Final on Sunday October 23 at the same venue.
Pool A New Zealand; France; Tonga; Americas 1; Asia 1
Pool B Argentina; England; Scotland; Europe 1; Play-off winner
Pool C Australia; Ireland; Italy; Europe 2; Americas 2 Pool D South Africa; Wales; Fiji; Oceania 1; Africa 1
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.