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.
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.