Justin Tipuric is healing well after shoulder surgery
Wales and British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric is 'progressing nicely' following his post-season shoulder surgery and is among a host of Ospreys players gearing up for a return in the new season.
The back row dynamo, who is 25 next month, missed the summer tour to South Africa as a result of his injury, but hopes to be back in full working order for the Autumn Tests against South African New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.
The Ospreys' medical performance manager, Chris Towers, has issued an update on a number of injured players as the most successful of the Welsh regions continues to build towards the 2014/15 campaign.
"Justin is progressing nicely following shoulder surgery. The key for him now is a good period of physical preparation to allow him to hit his key targets over the next eight weeks ahead of his return to playing," said Towers.
Fellow international forward, James King, was another summer tour absentee following ankle surgery. But Towers believes he could be in contention to start the new GuinnessPRO12 season.
"James had surgery on his ankle nine weeks ago and is back running. He will be integrated with the squad over the next two to three weeks in order to be available for the start of the PRO12 season," added Towers.
Wales scrum half Rhys Webb, wing Eli Walker and Moldovan prop Dmitri Arhip have all started pre-season with the rest of the squad and are now fully integrated into the group, taking a full part in training, while former Wales Under 20 lock Lloyd Peers has been integrated back into team rugby sessions following his recovery from a shoulder injury. He will be available for the pre-season games next month."
Wales centre Ashley Beck's recurring hip problem was operated on eight weeks ago and he is recovering well. The original prediction was for a six month recovery period.
Meanwhile, back row man Tom Smith is still in an intensive rehab programme, but is making good progress. He still has a lot of work ahead before the medical team can predict a comeback date for him.
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.
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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.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.