Byron Hayward speaks to the media after announcing his Six Nations squad
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says he is looking forward to seeing some of his younger players in action in the upcoming Six Nations.
In terms of talent identification for the squad in this campaign, it has been far more thorough than last year
Hayward this week named a 31-man squad for the upcoming tournament with only eight of those involved boasting previous international caps at Under 20 level.
It provides a number of players with a first opportunity to impress as Wales look to go one better than last season's second place finish.
"Last season was certainly a good one for us," said Hayward.
"There are a lot of young players coming through and that's why talent identification is so important to us. Hopefully it may be beneficial again this season."
After finishing as runners-up in the 2013 Six Nations, Wales went on to reach the final at the Junior World Championship with the likes of Rhodri Williams, Jordan Williams, Hallam Amos and Ellis Jenkins impressing. All four have gone on to play regional rugby this season with Rhodri Williams and Amos making their full international debuts last November.
Now, Hayward is looking forward to seeing the next generation of players come through.
"In terms of talent identification for the squad in this campaign, it has been far more thorough than last year," he said.
"We had a training day in September, a lot of physical testing and we finished with a game against the Welsh Students recently.
"The Six Nations is a huge challenge and it's about trying to better what we did last year. We want to improve the depth of our squad for when we go to the Junior World Championship.
"We aren't going to get anywhere in a tournament like that with just 18 players. That's the biggest challenge for us in terms of getting depth, especially in certain positions.
"It's a bit like a pre-season for us, albeit a really important pre-season. The bigger picture is the Junior World Championship and we need to get a benchmark of where we are in the weeks ahead."
Hayward and the rest of his coaching staff all agreed on the decision that Scarlets centre Steffan Hughes would lead Wales for the Six Nations.
"Making Steff captain was a choice we all backed as coaches," Hayward added. "He is a professional both on and off the field and sets very high standards. He's got experience from last year and it's important we have someone to make the tough decisions for us.
On his appointment as skipper, Hughes said: "It's an honour to be named captain of your country and it's vital we look ahead now.
"The squad is looking good in training and we need to set high standards for each other to benefit the group."
Wales Women head coach Rowland Phillips tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie his side go into tomorrow's clash against England as underdogs, but he's confident the world champions won't have everything their own way at BT Sports Cardiff Arms Park.
Defence coach Shaun Edwards believes Saturday's clash against England - the 'form team in world rugby' - poses a huge challenge for his side but he is confident, with Wales beginning to show the defensive qualities displayed in the last two World Cups,
The start of the Six Nations on this week's Princpiality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Coach and captain Rob Howley and Alun Wyn Jones look forward to the Italy game with Jake Ball and Jonathan Davies. Coach Rowland Phillips, outside half Elinor Snowsill and full back Dyddgu Hywel talk about Wales Women, while coach Jason Strange and centre Ioan Nicholas preview the U20 game. And find out why Snowsill had to hide her skills - or most of them!
At the official launch of this season's RBS 6 Nations at a noisy location in London this morning, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones reveals he is personally proud to be in the Wales team and is already looking forward to the opening clash against Italy which is a 'tough ask'.
It was a double celebration for Wales and Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb when he called at the home of Welsh rugby to help commemorate the first anniversary of Principality Stadium and his return to fitness this weekend ahead of the RBS 6 Nations.
Head coach Rowland Phillips and key front rower Carys Phillips look ahead to games against Spain and Ireland as Wales Women ramp up their preparations for the forthcoming Six Nations. The two warm-up games are a 'massive opportunity to refine the squad' according to the Welsh camp.
After bouncing back on Day Two in Wellington with a good win against Papua New Guinea, Wales Sevens were stopped in the Challenge Trophy semi-final by Australia. Head coach Gareth Williams gives his assessment of the day.
Wales may have seen their eight match unbeaten run in the Under 20 Six Nations ended by reigning world junior champions England, but head coach Jason Strange reckons his young side will be all the better if they can learn the lessons from their defeat.
One of the major success stories of the year: More passing, less kicking, more offloads, more turnovers, more line-breaks and consecutive phases, less scrums and lineouts - and increased distribution to the backs from both.
The introduction of girls-only, summer rugby has been so successful that 15 new teams have been set up at under 15, under 18 and senior level around Wales for the traditional season. The Pontypool-based Arrows are one of these, as WRU TV finds out.