Australia internationals Israel Folau, Rob Horne and Will Skelton are all expected to be available for selection when the Super Rugby season starts next month.
Folau has been healing quickly after he underwent ankle surgery, while Horne and Skelton are both recovering from shoulder problems.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is naturally delighted by the news that he will have a virtual full strength squad available for selection when he embarks on his new journey with the New South Wales franchise.
“The good news on Folau is he’s running next week with a view to giving himself a month to get right for the final trial,” Gibson told AAP.
“He’s well on track, probably ahead of schedule. He’s healed well. I think the break has been good for his head space and good for his body,” added Gibson.
“Rob Horne has been training without any difficulties, so at the moment things are going well for him. Will Skelton is certainly on track to play the first or second trial.”
However, there are still clear concerns about the flyhalf berth, primarily because his main pivot Bernard Foley has not had ample opportunity to rest since competing for Australia during what was a long World Cup campaign.
“His (Foley’s Japanese) team hasn’t won a game, so I don’t know what head space he’s in,” said a concerned Gibson.
“But it would be a nice luxury to be able to not play Foley in the first (Super) game,” added the Waratahs coach.
“As far I know, all the Japanese clubs are still playing this weekend. It’s after this weekend we will know whether he has to stay for further relegation games or we’ll get him back,” said Gibson of Foley.
The one contingency Gibson might have in place is that of playing Kurtley Beale at pivot, given that he has played in that position before.