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Wales want championship win at #JWC2014

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wru.co.uk     28 Apr 2014     Getty Images

The Scarlets centre has been selected as skipper in Byron Hayward's 28-man squad to travel to the Championships in New Zealand this summer. Wales senior internationals Hallam Amos and Dafydd Howells will also be in contention for their opening game against Fiji on June 2.

Hughes is hopeful of success after leading Wales to a third-place finish in this year's Six Nations championship but he admits there is a lot of hard work ahead.

"Hopefully we can go one better than last year," said Hughes, after Wales were edged out by England in the 2013 tournament.

"It's massively important to train hard this week. We have to play well and win games in the group before we can proceed. That's the longer goal but we have to work hard in the short-term and hopefully the results will take care of themselves."

The 20-year-old, who is taking a year out of his studies at Swansea University to focus on rugby, feels the Junior World Championships are a great opportunity for young players to showcase their talent, with the likes of Ospreys star Sam Davies, All Blacks Aaron Cruden and Julian Savea and England fly half George Ford all having been named player of the tournament in recent seasons.

And the Llanelli-born midfielder believes there is plenty of talent in the Welsh squad as they look to improve on their second and third placed finishes over the last two years.

"It's a massive spring-board to your future career and a great opportunity for young players to express ourselves on the biggest stage," added Hughes. "The games are on Sky Sports and they have great viewing and a lot of coaches watch the games, coaches from the regions and coaches from other clubs.

"We've got boys with international caps and that will help. It's great to have the likes of Hallam (Amos) and Jack (Dixon) in our squad and we'll benefit massively from their experience.

"I think we have a great scrum - the front row have experience from last year. We've got a very dangerous back three and we're looking strong if we gel together and get our structure right. The belief will be there this year that we can beat the big teams and compete at the top level."