Byrne close to return
Wales full-back Lee Byrne is on course to return from injury well ahead of this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The Ospreys star suffered a fractured thumb during Wales' defeat against New Zealand in Cardiff on November 27.
But he is due to have the plaster removed this week, with the Ospreys hoping he will be available to face Heineken Cup opponents London Irish in 10 days' time.
"This Saturday is six weeks' post-injury, and Lee is having the plaster removed at the end of this week," said Ospreys physiotherapist Chris Towers.
"He is eager to be back playing as soon as possible, and we will be looking to accelerate his return with a view to making him available for the London Irish game."
Wales launch their Six Nations campaign at home against England on February 4, when head coach Warren Gatland should also have British and Irish Lions trio Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams and Leigh Halfpenny available to him again following injuries.