The Cardiff Blues contingent in the Wales pre-World Cup training squad have reported to The Vale this morning as preparations for Japan take another step up.
They join the Dragons players who have been in camp for two weeks already, with every regional player given four weeks off after the end of the domestic season before officially joining up with the squad.
It is actually six weeks since Cardiff Blues last played, the defeat at the hands of Ospreys at Judgement Day being our last game of the season, but the uncertainty over whether we would be involved in the Heineken Champions Cup play-off meant the players were still in training two weeks later.
Therefore Dillon Lewis, Josh Navidi, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans and Owen Lane will all attend at The Vale Resort today to begin a tough period of three months training and warm-up games that will see Warren Gatland whittle his 42-man training squad down to a 31-man squad to go to Japan.
It is unclear whether Rhys Carre has reported to training, as he makes the switch from Cardiff Blues to Saracens, Gareth Anscombe got married in New Zealand over the weekend so is not thought to be back in the country yet, while Josh Adams’ season with Worcester finished later than the Pro14 campaign.
Hallam Amos is already in camp though, alongside the likes of Leon Brown, Elliott Dee and Cory Hill from the Dragons setup, ahead of his move to the Arms Park for next season.
Meanwhile the progress of Ellis Jenkins continues to be monitored as he recovers from the ACL tear picked up in the Autumn International fixture against South Africa, with news remaining just about positive that he will be in contention to fly to Japan if selected.
It is expected the whole squad will be together by the end of June, before they head off for a fortnight in Fiesch, Switzerland for a training camp. They then return to Wales for the first two warm-up games, before flying out to the Gloria Sports Arena in Turkey for a second training camp ahead of the final two warm-up games.
Warren Gatland will then name his final 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup and they will fly out on Wednesday 11th September, being based in the Japanese city of Kitakyushu before the Pool D opener on Monday 23rd September against Georgia.