British & Irish Lions try hero Shane Williams should be back in Magners League action before the end of September despite undergoing shoulder surgery.
Wales' record try scorer, who touched down twice in the Lions' third Test win over the Springboks this summer, had a routine procedure on his shoulder last week.
But Ospreys physio, Chris Towers, claims the timing of the operation was set to ensure Williams will be fit to return better than ever for the new season. Williams will return to training on 10 August, along with the Ospreys' other Lions.
"Shane underwent surgery to his shoulder on Tuesday, 14 July. It was a routine procedure that had been pre-planned to coincide with his return from the Lions tour," said Towers. "By the time Shane reports for pre-season training in August, he will already be four weeks post op and, apart from initially not being able to take contact and lift heavy upper body weights, there will be little impact on his pre-season preparations.
"A further four to six weeks should see him back to full training and available for selection, along with his Lions team-mates as per schedule."
The Ospreys reached the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first-time last season before having their title hopes blown apart by Munster at Thomond Park. They find themselves in the same Pool as last season's runners-up, Leicester Tigers, for the third time in five seasons.
They will meet the English champions at the new Welford Road on Sunday, 11 October. Ity is a match that will give the two Lions scrum halves, Mike Phillips and Harry Ellis, the chance to battle against each other, while Welsh skipper Ryan Jones will be joined in the Ospreys' back row by new recruit Jerry Collins.
One of their first tasks will be to quell Lions sensation Tom Croft, who marked his test debut in South Africa with two tries in Durban.
Ebbw Vale captain Damien Hudd picked up the biggest accolade of the night at the 11th Principality Premiership Awards Evening held at Principality Stadium, after leading his side to the title for the first time.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
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Alongside Scarlets flanker James Davies and Cardiff Blues centre Cory Allen, three Wales Sevens core players have made the extended training squad for GB Sevens. Wales Head coach Gareth Williams tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie why Luke Treharne, Sam Cross and Luke Morgan earned selection in the initial training squad for Rio.
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Merthyr were officially crowned champions of the SSE SWALEC Championship at Dowlais on Saturday where captain Andy Powell paid tribute to his side who have earned promotion to the Principality Premiership