Cardiff Blues boss Dai Young says fullback Ben Blair could make an earlier than expected comeback from injury ahead of next weekend's crucial Heineken Cup clash with Gloucester.
The New Zealander had been expected to miss the two remaining Pool Six games after breaking a bone in his hand in the New Year's Eve defeat to the Ospreys. But could feauture in the team that travel to to Kingsholm on January 18.
"Ben does have a small fracture, but the surgeon has said there is no reason why he can't play next week," Young told the Western Mail. "He can't make it any worse. It's down to Ben really and how he feels. He is in training and catching and passing."
"Hopefully, he will be fit for Gloucester, if not next week then certainly the week after against Calvisano."
The Blues were further bolstered this weekend by the return of Xavier Rush and Jamie Roberts for the Magners League clash with Leinster. Kiwi No.8 Rush has only had 40 minutes of rugby this season because of a knee injury, while Roberts fractured his skull during Wales' victory over Australia at the end of November. Both men start on the bench for the match at the RDS in Dublin.
The Blues are also waiting on the fitness of Wales flanker Martyn Williams who aggravated a shoulder injury in the Magners league defeat to the Ospreys last week.
"He's had an injection just to settle it down," said Young. "It's not a structural injury that needs operating on. It's a total impact injury. It just needs to settle down. He's done nothing this week and we will look at him in the middle of next week.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
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.