Byron Hayward can call on a number of players with regional experience
Byron Hayward is hoping his Wales under 20 starlets can flourish in the Junior World Championships after impressing for their regions.
The Wales head coach named an experienced 28-man squad for the World Championship campaign that kicks off in New Zealand on June 2, with 10 of his players having featured in last year's tournament when Wales went within a whisker of global glory after losing to England in the tournament final.
And now Hayward is hoping a core group of youngsters who already have regional experience under their belts can help Wales go one step further and clinch the competition crown in Auckland.
"It makes our job a lot easier when boys are playing at regional level because they're exposed to the big-game intensity. It's going to enhance our squad and hopefully our performances," said Hayward.
"Hopefully when they step back to our environment they can excel and that's something they did in the Six Nations for us."
Wales' forward pack starred in an indifferent Six Nations campaign as they drove the side to an away victory over Ireland. But now Hayward thinks it's time for the backs to shine in more favourable conditions.
"We played Ireland away in the Six Nations and the forwards won us the game. They had a pat on the back for that, but on the flip side, on a dry day we can win the ball and get it to our really talented backs," added the former Wales fly half.
"People like Hallam Amos, Jack Dixon, Daf Howells, Ashley Evans and Stef Hughes can do some serious damage against any side.
"The last game against Scotland was the best conditions we had played in and we showed our talent and scored some great tries with the right amount of ball in decent conditions."
The Championships will be broadcast on Sky Sports, and Hayward thinks it is the perfect platform for players to showcase their talent.
"As a vehicle to expose a player you can't get any better. If you're 19 or 20 years old and playing on the world stage in New Zealand it can't get any better for your development. You can showcase your skills to everyone in the world."
Coach Richard Hodges is hoping Wales U20 can put a disappointing campaign behind them when they tackle Japan tomorrow as they look to finish the U20 Championship strongly to secure a good seeding for next year's tournament.
Wales U20 coach Richard Hodges is targeting three wins from three games in the Under 20 Championship after suffering defeat to England on Saturday. However, as WRU TV's Liz Jones discovers, he is concerned about the threat Japan pose tomorrow.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards is looking for physical and mental toughness from the 47-man World Cup training squad which was revealed yesterday and he added he is looking forward to seeing which players are prepared to dig the deepest.
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Wales coach Warren Gatland runs the rule over his squad at the start of the Rugby World Cup preparations in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. He explains the injuries and also the situation surrounding No 8 Toby Faletau. Blues back Rhys Patchell describes the training camp, while Wales U20 win Josh Adams sums up; their World Rugby Championships campaign.
WRU National Academy Coaching manager Allan Lewis will retire, a new Elite Coach Development Manager post has been created and WRU international skills coach Jason Strange will now fulfil his WRU role on a full time basis.
Defending champions England powered their way to a 30-16 victory over Wales at Stadio San Michele, Calvisano, in the World Rugby U20 Championship, showing they aren't going to give away their crown easily.