Injured NSW captain Dave Dennis says he's on track to be back for the start of the Waratahs' Super Rugby defence as they strive to become the first Australian franchise to win back-to-back titles.
Dennis suffered a season-ending knee injury in late June, ruling him out of the final stages of the Waratahs' charge to their first Super crown.
The injury and subsequent surgery and rehabilitation can sideline a player for up to nine months.
The Wallabies back-rower is determined to try and get back for the Waratahs' opening match and has been encouraged by his progress since undergoing surgery.
"I think round one is a realistic goal for me," Dennis told AAP.
"That's probably what I'm looking at and just assess it as we go.
"It's all on track for it at the moment. I'm only four weeks post-surgery and I saw the surgeon on Friday.
"He was happy so it's all looking good.
"I've just got to work hard over the next six months and hopefully get right for round one,"
Dennis was still able to derive satisfaction and pride from watching the Waratahs beat the Crusaders in last weekend's final, even though he was denied a chance to play.
"It was a weird sensation to be honest," Dennis said.
"Of course, extremely proud. I've been at the club for seven or eight years now, and I've seen a lot of guys work hard and never be able to achieve that and I'm just really happy for everyone involved."
Several of the triumphant team travelled to Bathurst on Wednesday to join the Wallabies squad on their Bush2Bledisloe NSW tour, having been feted in the Sydney CBD the previous day.
"We had a brief meeting and covered a few things about moving forward," Dennis said.
"It's a period for everyone to enjoy what we've achieved this year.
"I'm sure the staff and some of the guys will still be around the club for the rest of the year (and) will start looking forward in the next couple of weeks."
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