NEWPORT Gwent Dragons full-back/wing Hallam Amos is targeting the World Cup after injury forced him to pull out of Wales' tour to South Africa.
The 19-year-old, who was capped against Tonga last autumn, will have an operation on his left shoulder tomorrow and will be out of action until September.
Amos suffered blows against the Ospreys and Treviso in the Pro12 run-in and will go under the knife now rather than after his international commitments in June.
That should ensure the teenager, who had been named in the probables squad for Wales' trial match at the Liberty Stadium, only misses a few weeks of the season for his region.
"It's a big disappointment and is frustrating because my shoulder feels fine but the scan showed I've torn quite a lot of my labrum," said Amos, who will now concentrate on his medicine studies at Cardiff University this summer.
"If I have the op now then I should be back for the Dragons around the start of the season so that I can try and earn a place in the squad for the autumn internationals.
"I'm gutted to miss out on the trial match and then possibly South Africa but I am still young and hopefully there will be plenty more opportunities.
"I'm disappointed but now my ultimate aim is to have a good season with the Dragons and force my way into the World Cup squad."
Head coach Warren Gatland was likely to name Amos in his squad for South Africa but feels it is important that the teenager get his shoulder sorted so that he can impress for his region in a key year.
"Hallam is very talented and was a player that we definitely had pencilled in for South Africa," said the New Zealander.
"It's a shame for him because we had pulled him out of the Under-20s squad for the Junior World Championship and we wanted to see him in the senior side.
"But the most important thing is for Hallam to get his shoulder right for next season. This gives him a chance to push next year and put himself in contention for the World Cup."
Amos' injury could open the door for his regional teammate Tom Prydie, who is in the possibles squad at the trial match.
Gatland has not yet called up a replacement and there is little chance of the Wales management considering new Dragons recruit Lee Byrne for South Africa despite being impressed with his form for Clermont Auvergne this season. Attempts were made to contact the 33-year-old about playing in the Tonga Test last autumn but the 46-times capped full-back did not respond to calls.