Rhys Priestland is relishing the start of the new season following an injury-plagued period on the sidelines.
The Wales fly-half ruptured his Achilles in December and aggravated the injury during the pre-match warm-up ahead of his scheduled return in May.
Priestland admits it was a bitter blow but having returned to pre-season training he reckons he is nearing a return to his best.
"It was tough at the time. I don't usually give myself targets in rugby, but I'd given myself one this time, which was to play a part in end-of-season games with the Scarlets," said Priestland.
"I knew the squad would be good enough to reach the play-offs and I just wanted to be fit.
"I was gutted because I hadn't been able to achieve my goal and I was so close. I was also gutted because I'd have to do all the rehab again - it's not the most fun thing to do.
"I trained for a month before it happened and played two games. I had a stamp on it the week before the Ulster match, so it was very swollen all week.
"It was the first time I'd flown and played a game since the injury, so whether that had something to do with it, I don't know.
"No-one knows why it happened, but it happened and I don't regret coming back when I did. I was ready and felt good.
"It's one of those things - I have to come back again now.
"After it happened I had six weeks off, just resting it. I don't get any pain now. The only problem was by resting it my calf pretty much withered away to nothing, so I have to build that back up, which takes time.
"But I've been three weeks into it now and I can see a big difference - I don't think it will be much longer before it's 100 per cent. It feels good, but I won't rush it. When it's ready for me to start to run, I'll do so."
And the 26-year-old has high hopes for the Scarlets, who welcome back Jon Davies from British & Irish Lions duty and a host of Wales Under 20 stars.
"Jon did well. I got asked a lot what my Lions team would be, and I always picked Jon at 13," added Priestland.
"Even though people touted O'Driscoll as captain, I still would have picked Jon.
"But we don't have just Jon gaining that experience, we have boys coming back from the under-20s, like Jordan (Williams) and Rhodri (Williams), who did exceptionally well at the World Cup
"They were unlucky not to win the World Cup, which is no mean feat.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how Jordan goes, in particular. We saw glimpses of it last year and at the start of the year. I've always said he's an exceptional talent.
"It's an exciting time for Welsh rugby and an exciting time for us at the Scarlets as well."
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales U20 head coach Byron Hayward and back row Will Boyde believe defence will be the key when they face Ireland tomorrow in the second pool game of the Junior World Championship being held in New Zealand.
Tension was palpable as players waited to hear the announcment of the Wales touring squad of South Africa. Matthew Morgan was one of four uncapped players named in the squad after impressing in the Wales Senior Trial.
Wales Trial, Principality Premiership Awards evening and Wales U20s in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Jamie Roberts and Matthew Rees about the Wales Trial, captain Dafydd Lockyer talks about Pontypridd dominating the Principality Premiership awards, while ahead of the start of the Junior World Championships we talk to Tom Williams, Steffan Hughes, Jack Dixon and Nicky Smith.
Coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde today confirmed their Probables and Possibles teams to take part in Friday's Wales Senior Trial at the Liberty Stadium and both are predicting some mouth-watering head-to-heads.
Possibles coach Robin McBryde has given his team a licence to thrill in Friday's Wales Senior Trial match. He tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie that his side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers against the favourites, the Probables.
We look at the squads for the Wales trial, European finals weekend and Wales U20 on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on the trial, full back Hallam Amos on his summer hopes, Wales legend Ieuan Evans welcomes European rugby finals weekend to Cardiff and Wales U20 hooker Ethan Lewis looks ahead to the Junior World Championships.
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says last night's 31-19 win over Scotland was a crucial building block as the Junior World Cup rapidly approaches. WRU TV's Liz Jones gets his post match reaction.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards relives London Wasps triumphs in the Amlin and Heineken Cups in 2003 and 2004 and looks ahead to this year's Heineken and Amlin finals in Cardiff, as well as the Wales trial match.
Simon Easterby is leaving the Scarlets to take up the role of forwards coach with Ireland. The west Wales region confirmed today that their former captain and coach will be allowed to leave his current position at the club to step back onto the international stage.
Wales and British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric is 'progressing nicely' following his post-season shoulder surgery and is among a host of Ospreys players gearing up for a return in the new season.
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis today welcomed the dawn of a 'new era' for rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales alongside the announcement of the new GUINNESS PRO12 fixtures.
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