Scott Williams has become the latest addition to Warren Gatland’s mounting list of absentees for this summer’s two Test tour of South Africa after failing to recover from shoulder surgery in time to make the trip.
The Scarlets centre has been out of action since February, but had hoped to make a return to action before the end of the season in time to join up with the national side.
His recovery, however, has not progressed as he had hoped, and after consultations with Wales’ medical and coaching staff he has agreed to sit out the tough trip south in favour of rehabilitation ahead of next season.
“After my shoulder operation my target was to play the last game of the season, which was the Blues game," Williams said.
"My rehab hasn’t quite gone as I want it to go. I’ve had a couple of hiccups, so having spoken to the coaches and physios I think the best thing is for me to just leave it this summer and concentrate on having a good pre-season and make sure that my shoulder is 100%. That’s the main thing.
"Leaving the tour is the best thing for me. Over the summer now I just need to get some good training in and have a big season next season.
"Obviously I’m really gutted I haven’t been able to go, but now the main thing is to make sure that my shoulder is right.
"There’s no point me risking another injury, so at the end of the day, as long as my shoulder is 100%, that’s the main thing."
The setback means Williams will also be absent from Warren Gatland’s revived pre-tour trial match at the Liberty Stadium on Friday 30 May.
The Probables Vs Possibles open trial match will make its first return to the Welsh rugby scene in 14 years and offers a number of tour outsiders the chance to impress the national coaches.
The revival has been brought about in the hope of bridging the gap Wales' players face between the end of the domestic season and the first Test on June 14th, as well as giving fringe players an opportunity to impress outside of the test arena.
“I think it will be really interesting,” Williams continued.
"Obviously not being able to play in that either, I think it will be really good to watch. The boys are obviously fighting for their positions and that’s what it’s about at the end of the day, sticking your hand up.
"You might see some boys who have never been in the squad before and playing really well so I think it’ll be really good."