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Wayne Pivac reveals WRU blocked Rhys Priestland recall

Wales

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Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has revealed that the Welsh Rugby Union stopped him from naming Rhys Priestland in his Six Nations squad.

The Bath fly-half was tipped to represent his country in the upcoming Six Nations Championship, as Wales are short on number 10s due to injuries to Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell.

The Bath fly-half hasn’t played for Wales since 2017, but his readmission to the Welsh squad was reconsidered on the basis that he is joining Cardiff Blues next season.

‘Now we know whether or not we can use Rhys’

However, Pivac was unable to persuade his employers to relax their selection criteria, with the 50-times capped play maker 10 appearances short of the WRU’s 60 cap requirement for players outside of the Welsh regions.

โ€œIn terms of Rhys Priestland, yeah, weโ€™ve asked the question, along the lines of the Rhys Webb question when that was done at the time.

Wales

โ€œWe have injuries. In Patchell, whoโ€™s coming back from a well-documented head knock and is now in a reconditioning programme, heโ€™s been out of the game for a while. And obviously Gareth Anscombe is still out.

โ€œSo for us itโ€™s about can we select Rhys if we need to call upon him. And that question has been asked. And so weโ€™ve selected what we have on the basis that they are available.

โ€œSo we now know whether or not we can use Rhys should we get further injury โ€“ and no, we canโ€™t.

โ€œJarrod [Evans] has been brought in yes, he was left out of the autumn series, and heโ€™s been given parts of his game to work on, the kicking side of his game,โ€ Pivac said at the Wales team announcement press conference.

Wales get their Six Nations campaign underway on February 7, when they welcome Ireland to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

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