Rhys Priestland is relishing the start of the new season following an injury-plagued period on the sidelines.
The Wales fly-half ruptured his Achilles in December and aggravated the injury during the pre-match warm-up ahead of his scheduled return in May.
Priestland admits it was a bitter blow but having returned to pre-season training he reckons he is nearing a return to his best.
"It was tough at the time. I don't usually give myself targets in rugby, but I'd given myself one this time, which was to play a part in end-of-season games with the Scarlets," said Priestland.
"I knew the squad would be good enough to reach the play-offs and I just wanted to be fit.
"I was gutted because I hadn't been able to achieve my goal and I was so close. I was also gutted because I'd have to do all the rehab again - it's not the most fun thing to do.
"I trained for a month before it happened and played two games. I had a stamp on it the week before the Ulster match, so it was very swollen all week.
"It was the first time I'd flown and played a game since the injury, so whether that had something to do with it, I don't know.
"No-one knows why it happened, but it happened and I don't regret coming back when I did. I was ready and felt good.
"It's one of those things - I have to come back again now.
"After it happened I had six weeks off, just resting it. I don't get any pain now. The only problem was by resting it my calf pretty much withered away to nothing, so I have to build that back up, which takes time.
"But I've been three weeks into it now and I can see a big difference - I don't think it will be much longer before it's 100 per cent. It feels good, but I won't rush it. When it's ready for me to start to run, I'll do so."
And the 26-year-old has high hopes for the Scarlets, who welcome back Jon Davies from British & Irish Lions duty and a host of Wales Under 20 stars.
"Jon did well. I got asked a lot what my Lions team would be, and I always picked Jon at 13," added Priestland.
"Even though people touted O'Driscoll as captain, I still would have picked Jon.
"But we don't have just Jon gaining that experience, we have boys coming back from the under-20s, like Jordan (Williams) and Rhodri (Williams), who did exceptionally well at the World Cup
"They were unlucky not to win the World Cup, which is no mean feat.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how Jordan goes, in particular. We saw glimpses of it last year and at the start of the year. I've always said he's an exceptional talent.
"It's an exciting time for Welsh rugby and an exciting time for us at the Scarlets as well."
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
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.