Wales interim head coach Rob Howley admits the loss of Rhys Priestland for next year's RBS 6 Nations is a major blow.
The Scarlets fly-half ruptured his Achilles against Exeter Chiefs last Saturday and face six months on the sidelines after undergoing surgery.
"I'm hugely disappointed to lose such a talented player," said Howley.
"He turned his performances around in the autumn and had one of his best games in a Wales jersey against Australia, that spoke volumes about him.
"But the key thing now is to get the injury right. He's shown great character over the last four weeks and I'm sure that fortitude will come in over the next six months."
Despite the loss of Priestland, Howley is confident Wales have the strength and depth to cope in the Championship.
"We have good competition at 10 with Dan Biggar and James Hook," added Howley.
"They are hugely skilful players and Dan was one of the form players going into the autumn."
Priestland could still return to action before the end of the 2012-13 season and his national and regional teammate Jon Davies, whom he shares a flat with in Cardiff, reckons he will come back stronger.
"It's huge blow and a bad injury. It's been a tough couple of months for him but I'm sure Rhys has got the character to bounce back from this.
"He had a tough couple of weeks at the start of the autumn then started to come through it. He could probably see light at the end of the tunnel then to have this is a major blow.
"It's a big loss for the Scarlets and Wales. Rhys is a world-class player, he's our 10 and plans the tactics on the field."
Davies has also experienced long-term periods on the sidelines but he reckons the hardships strengthen players' resolve and he has promised to keep a close eye on his flatmate.
"You've got to keep yourself occupied," added Davies.
"For most of the first couple of weeks you will be on the sofa. You have to keep yourself mentally fresh otherwise you will go mental.
"It is a tough time but these injuries make you a stronger player - you want to be on the field more. Hopefully, it will work as a positive in the long-term.
"He was okay at the weekend. He has come to terms with it but it's a bitter pill to swallow. Saturday night the flat was a pretty dim place.
"We had to look after him and give him a bit of a cwtch. Fenby (Andy) has got a bell for Rhys to ring!"
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.