Wales head coach Warren Gatland will name his squad for the RBS 6 Nations on Tuesday with fitness question marks over several key players.
Wales will attempt to make history by becoming the first team to win the tournament three times in a row.
But Gatland has major selection issues ahead of their first game against Italy on February, chief among them skipper Sam Warburton who has not played since suffering a shoulder injury in the November internationals.
Cardiff Blues boss Phil Davies has stated he is a couple of weeks away from fitness, giving him little time to find form and match fitness before facing the Azzurri.
Prop Gethin Jenkins is also doubtful after he picked up a leg injury in the Blues' Heineken Cup defeat to Toulon at the weekend, with a scan set to reveal the severity of the problem.
Centre Jonathan Davies will miss the first three games - at least - because of the pectoral injury suffered against South Africa in November.
Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell is another long-term absentee thanks to knee and shoulder issues, with his regional colleague Cory Allen another to be sidelined.
On the plus side Jamie Roberts - who missed the entire autumn campaign - is set to return from an ankle injury for Racing Metro this weekend, while Newport Gwent Dragons forward Andrew Coombs should also be in contention despite suffering a broken nose at the weekend.
Scott Williams' form suggests he will be a capable stand-in for Davies in midfield, while Mike Phillips has settled quickly at Racing Metro after being sacked by Bayonne towards the end of last year.
Behind Phillips the scrum-half pecking order is tough to decide with Lloyd Williams, Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies and Rhodri Williams all pushing for inclusion.
Fly-half is similarly competitive with Dan Biggar, Rhys Priestland and James Hook all vying for the starting role, while Leicester's Owen Williams and Ospreys Sam Davies may also come under consideration.
Scarlets prop Samson Lee looks set to earn a call-up after an impressive run of recent performances anchoring the west Wales' region's scrum, with Ospreys lock James King, Dragons wing Hallam Amos and Blues centre Owen Williams all in contention for squad berths.
Who will win this year's Six Nations?