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.
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.