Scarlets winger Mark Jones will miss his side's final two Heineken Cup matches this month and now faces a race against time to be fit for the start of the RBS 6 Nations.
The 29-year-old wing has been forced to undergo an appendix operation that is likely to sideline for at least three weeks.
It means the man who helped Wales win the Grand Slam last season will have little time to prove to coach Warren Gatland that he is fit and ready to take his place in the opening championship match against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday, 8 February.
With 43 caps to his credit, Jones has become one of Wales' most consistent performers on the international stage and will be hoping to use the Six Nations to push his claims to a place on the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference