OLLIE Griffiths is focused on a summer of toil to make sure he comes back firing next season after injury dashed the Dragons back rower's World Cup hopes.

The 23-year-old from Newbridge has started the road to recovery after undergoing an operation on his left bicep last week.

The blow, suffered in the opening stages of the Guinness PRO14 hammering at Benetton, has ended his season and any lingering hopes of earning a spot in Wales' summer training squad for Japan 2019.

Griffiths, who can play across the back row and won his solitary cap against Tonga in 2017, needed a stellar finish to the campaign to put the heat on his Test rivals.

He was a surprise omission from the autumn squad despite a dynamic start to the season and is a victim of Wales' back row riches.

Warren Gatland has Dragons duo Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Ellis Jenkins, Thomas Young, James Davies and Aaron Shingler as candidates for just five spots on the plan to Japan.

It leaves Griffiths looking to next season and the chance to press for a place in new boss Wayne Pivac's international squad.

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"With the amount of back rowers Wales have in the set-up right now and with an injury like this, plus not being in the squads recently, it is not something I'm really giving much thought to," said Griffiths, who is aiming to be back in full training in eight weeks.

"All I can do is play as well and I can, train as well as I can and stay fit for as long as I can. If the opportunity comes I need to make sure I am ready and I do take it.

"My focus is purely on staying fit and doing as much as I can to be in the best possible shape.

"It's a long pre-season for me now so I have plenty of time to get over this and plenty of time to get ready."

Griffiths had no luck with injuries last season, going under the knife after blows to his ankle, hip and jaw.

The talisman's misfortune continued into 2018/19 with a hip problem in the autumn, a knee injury in December and then his ruptured bicep limiting him to just 15 appearances.

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"It's not great timing and I'm gutted to miss the Ospreys game and especially Judgement Day, but you have to stay positive and look forward," he said.

"I will now target having a really good pre-season and look to be fully fit and raring to go so I can absolutely fire into next season.

"There is no point dwelling on injuries. I'm pretty good with that and I've had enough in the past to realise that the sooner you can get mentally over it the better you are in the long-term.

"I will do all I can now to get over this bicep injury and get fit, strong and ready to go again next season."

The loss of Griffiths is a hammer blow to caretaker boss Ceri Jones' hopes of a positive finish to a challenging season.

The Dragons have another weekend off before heading to the Ospreys for what promised to be an especially feisty derby after the chaos of Project Reset.

The Liberty Stadium date is followed by a South African double-header against the Kings and Cheetahs then a Principality Stadium finale versus the Scarlets.

"We have four games left and lots to play for – and the Ospreys game is going to be massive," said Griffiths. "We've already beaten them once this season at home so it is a big challenge at the Liberty.

"We then have two weeks in South Africa and Judgement Day, which is always a special day, against the Scarlets.

"It's surprising how fast the season goes after Christmas, but we still have much we can achieve, especially that away win."