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.
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.