Wales and Cardiff Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell will miss the coming 2014 Six Nations after knee surgery will rule him out for several months.
The 20-year-old went down with a damaged knee in Cardiff’s 21-13 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons this weekend.
Blues Director of rugby Phil Davies confirmed today that Patchell will need surgery on the knee and that he will also undergo a shoulder operation to rectify a long-standing problem.
The injury comes at the worst possible time ahead of Cardiff’s crucial Heineken Cup trip to Toulon this Saturday and, after winning two caps on Wales' tour to Japan last summer, he will now be unable to compete for Six Nations selection.
"It is a disappointment to us to lose Patch for this period of time when he is playing so well, with many crucial games coming up in both Europe and the Pro12," boss Davies told www.cardiffblues.com.
"However, it will give others within our squad the opportunity to step up as we look to enjoy a strong start to 2014.
"We wish Rhys all the best with his rehabilitation, will give him the very best support and I know he will be determined to get back fit as soon as possible.
"We all look forward to seeing him back in a Cardiff Blues jersey in the coming months."