Alun Wyn Jones has been rewarded for another fine season
Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones has more reason to celebrate after being named as the Welsh Rugby Writers' Association's Player of the Year but his Ospreys team-mate Aisea Natoga is facing a lengthy lay off after breaking his jaw.
Jones receives the award after a strong season for the Ospreys, Wales and the British & Irish Lions and just a few days after he was selected to skipper the RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team.
The 28-year-old has featured in all bar one of Wales' nine internationals since the start of the season, only missing the convincing win over France at the last minute with a foot injury.
He skippered the Ospreys to a fifth-place finish in the PRO12 as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs and played in five of their six Heineken Cup fixtures against Leinster, Northampton and Castres.
The experienced second row ended last season on a major high having led the Lions to series glory in the third Test against Australia during the summer after he took over from the injured Sam Warburton in Sydney. Jones started all three Tests on his second Lions tour and returned home with an even greater reputation than before.
He narrowly beat off competition from fellow Ospreys and Wales stars Dan Biggar and Richard Hibbard for the writers' accolade and will now be hoping for even better news as he looks to help Wales shock the Springboks in South Africa next month.
Things aren't quite so rosy for Natoga, though, after he suffered the injury setback just moments after coming on for Jeff Hassler in the Ospreys' six-try thrashing of Connacht at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday night. He won't now be available for Fiji's summer Tests with Italy, Tonga and Samoa and their World Cup qualifier with the Cook Islands.
"Aisea had an operation at the weekend and will have the injury reviewed at the end of this week after it has settled down, at which point we'll be in a better position to give a possible timeline for a return to play date," said Ospreys medical performance manager, Chris Towers.
The news is a big blow for Natoga after he featured 22 times for the Ospreys in his debut season in Wales, scoring eight tries and bagging hat-tricks in the PRO12 win over Cardiff Blues and the LV= Cup success against Sale.
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.