Cardiff Blues will be without Wales and British & Irish Lions centre Tom Shanklin for the rest of the season.
The 31-year-old took a blow to his knee during the Magners League win over Ulster in Cardiff a week ago and has been forced to undergo an operation. Shanklin had to withdraw from the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour through injury last year and now his latest season has been brought to a premature end. It couldn't have come at a worse time for the Blues, who are embroiled in a bitter battle for Heineken Cup qualification via their own domestic league - and have to travel to face Newcastle falcons in the quarter-finals of the AMLIN Challenge Cup next week. Shanklin is set to have surgery on his knee to clean it out and is expected to be out of action for up to eight weeks. If that is the case, he will probably be a non-starter for Wales' summer tour to New Zealand.
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.