Wales and the Ospreys have been dealt a blow with the news that Grand Slam-winning scrum-half Mike Phillips will be out of action for longer than originally expected.
The 26-year-old former Scarlets and Cardiff Blues No9 has been told to completely stop his rehabilitation after undergoing a scan to assess his recovery from a cruciate ligament tear he sustained back in April.
He had been expected to return to action at the start of next month, but the latest assessment on his injured knee suggests he will be forced to miss out for another few weeks.
"Mike had a scan this week, which has confirmed that his knee has reacted to the high level of rehab he has gone through over the last few weeks," said Ospreys physiotherapist Chris Towers.
"As a result of this, we have to accept that he needs to rest up over the next week or two to allow the knee to settle down.
"The specialist is optimistic that Mike will be able to pick up where he left off once the knee has settled down but, looking at the situation realistically, he will still need a few weeks to work on his rugby fitness before we can consider him ready for competitive rugby.
"It's very disappointing that this hiccup in the final stages of his recovery has ruled him out of contention for the opening rounds of European rugby, but it is in the long-term best interests of Mike, the Ospreys and Wales that we ensure his knee is 100 per cent right before he returns to action."
The delay in Phillips' return means he is highly unlikely to have played any competitive rugby prior to the October 21 announcement of Warren Gatland's squad for the autumn internationals.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.