Newport Gwent Dragons are facing a midfield crisis ahead of the new season after new signing Matthew Watkins underwent surgery.
Ex-Wales centre Watkins, who arrived last week from Gloucester, will miss the start of the new campaign following a hip operation in June. And Dragons regular Rhodri Gomer-Davies is also recovering from ankle surgery with little more than three weeks to go before the Magners League kick-off. The Rodney Parade-based region have already lost three-quarters Rory Sidey, Marc Stcherbina and Gareth Maule this summer. Australian Sidey has returned Down Under to join Super 14 outfit New South Wales Waratahs. Stcherbina has retired following a serious back injury last season while Maule has moved to Welsh rivals the Scarlets. That has opened the door for Newport's Tom Riley to step into the squad, having made a handful of regional appearances for the Blues. Academy player Adam Hughes is also considered to be highly promising.
The Welsh Rugby Union has awarded a unique 'President's Cap' to a specific group of players who represented their country between 1945 and 1979, but missed out on international recognition at the time.
Prabhat Mathema, the WRU's National Medical Manager explains the four part Pitchside Suspected Concussion Assessment process the IRB has devised that is being implemented throughout the Dove Men Series and in the LV= Cup this season, which includes the provision for a five minute temporary substitution to allow an assessment to take place.