Dan Biggar has been tipped to challenge Rhys Priestland for the Wales fly-half jersey
Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar has been backed to launch a major challenge for the Wales number 10 jersey this season.
Biggar missed out for selection for the tour of Australia despite enjoying an impressive end to the season as he helped his region to the RaboDirect PRO12 title.
He was bitterly disappointed not to jet Down Under but Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees says he has responded in perfect fashion - with hard graft.
"Dan is going to challenge for that shirt with Wales this year," Rees told the South Wales Evening Post.
"He has all the attributes. If we can demonstrate consistency as a team, he has a fighting chance of getting into the national team."
"Since I came back from my coaching in Italy last term, he has been unbelievably consistent with the work he puts in, day in, day out.
"He has maintained that regime this summer and put his disappointment with Wales behind him.
"He has his own training routines and is the complete professional. I have known him since he was 15 and I have seen that determination and diligence from a young age. He gets setbacks, he gets kicked quite a bit, but for us he is a true talisman.
"People don't appreciate what he brings. If we are looking at our set-piece, for instance, and our phase-play integration, he's assessing the footage and coming up with ideas.
"He has his own thoughts about the need to become more effective off scrum and line-outs. He's at the hub of that and is a big influence on those around him. He is also prepared to challenge us as coaches, which is great."
Biggar became the first Ospreys player to reach the 1,000 point mark and also broke the region's record for points over a season.
He was rewarded by Wales with a start at fly-half against the Barbarians in June. But he was cut from the squad for the three-Test series with the Wallabies.
"We knew what Wales's thought processes were," added Rees.
"They wanted continuity from the Six Nations and were keen to go with players who had done well for them during that period.
"I was just glad to see Dan back in the mix and being discussed heavily by the Wales coaching group. That's credit to him for the work he put in.
"The great thing is he's driving on Matthew Morgan and Sam Davies as well. It's an area where we are blessed. Those guys in particular get to see what he's about and it does rub off."
Rob Howley and Josh Lewsey addressed more than 250 community club coaches and referees at the first WRU National Community Conference on the weekend. The volunteers benefitted from coaching masterclasses and workshops in a bid to connect all levels of the rugby pathway in Wales.
UEFA has today confirmed the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has been successful in its bid for the Millennium Stadium to host the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 (kick-off: 19.45hrs GMT).
The winners of a filmmaking competition organised by the education charity Into Film and the WRU enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium - and a chance to be photographed with the WRU's fire-breathing, rugby loving mascot, Scorch The Dragon, and Welsh international, Jake Ball.
The Wales Under 20 camp are in a quietly confident mood as they face Ireland in the U20 Championship, with Coaching Co-Ordinator Allan Lewis and full back Dafydd Howells targeting a top five finish in the tournament.