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."
Robin McBryde and son Billy are set to represent Wales on either side of the globe over the coming weeks with Robin travelling to New Zealand as Wales assistant coach and Billy competing at the World Rugby U20 Championship (Manchester, June 7-25). WRU TV caught up with the pair and captured a unique perspective into the factors that produce such a high-achieving rugby family.
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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