Prince William marks 50 days till JWC2014 kick-off

Getty Images     13 Apr 2014     Getty Images

Tickets are now available for JWC2014 through Ticketmaster. Please click here.

Prince William, representing current JWC champions England, presented the trophy to All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw at the special Regal Rugby Fun Day for the Royal Couple at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

The Royal Couple were treated to a mini-rippa rugby tournament involving Otago primary school children in front of a crowd of more than 9,000.

“The atmosphere this afternoon has been tremendous and long may it continue. The enthusiasm and skills demonstrated by the children this afternoon bears out just how instinctively good at rugby this nation really is,” said Prince William.

“Teamwork, skill, fair play were all to the fore.

“I am sure your future All Blacks who play in the Junior World Championship in June will be showing the same flair and determination. I wish you all the best in hosting the tournament and we will both be watching very closely.”

New Zealand is hosting the tournament for the first time.

The JWC showcases the future stars of world rugby from the best under 20s teams in the world.

All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw played in an earlier version of the tournament and regards the experience as one of his fondest memories as a young player.

“It’s a really important tournament. A huge percentage of players come through this and become All Blacks. It’s also where you first figure out how to be a professional and how you go about things as a player.”

17 of the 2013 Air New Zealand European tour squad have played in previous JWCs.

“So the New Zealand public will be seeing players who are going to be All Blacks of the future, and Springboks and Wallabies etc as well so it’s a great chance for everyone to see the future stars.

“If you enjoy rugby, go along, it’s a great standard of rugby that’s played.”

12 countries are taking part in the seventh edition of the tournament which kicks-off in the Auckland region on Queen’s Birthday Monday 2 June and climaxes with the Final at Eden Park on Friday 20 June.

New Zealand won the first four editions of the tournament, but missed out the last two years.

“As New Zealanders you hear about the juniors teams doing well. They have won the tournament a fair few times, obviously England won last year, but you never actually see them so for the New Zealand guys to play in front of a home crowd, it will be something very special.

Tickets are priced as little as $5 for children and $10 for adults. Each ticket gives fans access to all three matches played each match day at a venue.

Tournament snapshot – JWC2014 – 2-20 June 2014

- Featuring 12 teams and 336 players

- 30 matches kicking off Queen’s Birthday Monday, 2 June

- Matches will be played on 2, 6, 10, 15 and 20 June at QBE Stadium, North Harbour, ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe and Eden Park, Auckland

- Current title holders are England

- JWC is a proven pathway to higher honours – 17 of the current All Blacks squad played in previous JWC tournaments

- More than 250 players in total have gone on to play for their country at the top level

- The Government (through the Major Events Development Fund) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) have each invested $1.45m to support JWC2014

- JWC2014 is the seventh edition of the tournament, and the first time New Zealand has been host