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In-form Pri­est­land ad­mits Wales au­tumn re­call is...

Wales On Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ANDY HOW­ELL Rugby cor­re­spon­dent andy.how­ell@waleson­line.co.uk

RHYS PRI­EST­LAND has ad­mit­ted he would love to res­ur­rect his Wales ca­reer... but he won’t be wait­ing by the phone this week. Pri­est­land put in a man-of-the­match per­for­mance in front of War­ren Gat­land on Fri­day night to steer Bath to a Cham­pi­ons Cup vic­tory over his for­mer club Scar­lets.

The out­side-half scored all of Bath’s points with six suc­cess­ful penal­ties in an 18-13 win.

And with Pri­est­land no longer re­quir­ing a wild-card se­lec­tion to play Test rugby af­ter the Welsh Rugby Union last Wed­nes­day changed its na­tional player se­lec­tion pol­icy, he could re­turn to the fold for au­tumn Tests against Aus­tralia, Ge­or­gia, back-to-back World Cup hold­ers New Zealand and South Africa in Cardiff.

Wales are due to name their squad on Tues­day but Pri­est­land re­vealed he hasn’t been con­tacted by Gat­land or backs guru Rob How­ley.

“If they (Wales) ring, then fine, but I won’t be wait­ing by the phone. I’m not go­ing to build my hopes up – it’s out of my con­trol,” said the 30-year-old.

“My sole ob­jec­tive is to try and win games for Bath. Things are go­ing OK. I would love to play for Wales but I haven’t a clue whether I am in their thoughts. “If you’re not in the coaches’ minds it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. All I can do is try and play as well as I can for Bath.” Bath head coach Todd Black­ad­der, the for­mer All Blacks cap­tain and ex-Cru­saders Su­per Rugby coach, claimed Pri­est­land is still im­prov­ing as a player.

“He’s hav­ing an out­stand­ing sea­son – he looks re­ally com­posed and com­fort­able,” said Black­ad­der.

Grilled on whether he felt Pri­est­land should be re­called by Wales, Black­ad­der quipped: “I hope not!”

On a se­ri­ous note, he said: “It’s up to War­ren but Rhys is do­ing ev­ery­thing he can. The only thing he can con­trol is his per­for­mance and he’s per­form­ing re­ally well.”

Full story: Sport on Sun­day

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