MORE BRILLIANT EXTRACTS FROM THE RUGBY BOOK OF THE YEAR
In-form Priestland admits Wales autumn recall is...
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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