Wales fly-half Priestland to join Cardiff Blues

·2-min read
Bath time over: Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland (C) will leave the English Premiership club to join Cardiff ahead of the 2021/22 season

Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland will join Cardiff Blues for next season, the Pro14 side announced Wednesday.

The 34-year-old's contract with English Premiership side Bath expires at the end of this season and a return to Wales should boost his chances of a Test recall after he won the last of his 50 caps at home to New Zealand in 2017.

Wales coach Wayne Pivac wanted to include Priestland in his squad for the ongoing Six Nations but was prevented from doing so by the Welsh Rugby Union, who refused to relax their minimum 60-cap rule governing international selection for players based abroad.

Priestland has made 109 appearances for Bath, scoring 810 points, since joining the south-west side in 2015, and was the Premiership's top points scorer last season.

He initially made his name during an eight-year spell with Llanelli-based home region the Scarlets before heading to the Recreation Ground.

"It is important to have quality players competing for every position and Rhys will bring further strength and depth to our options in the number 10 jersey and drive standards," Blues interim director of rugby Dai Young told the region's website.

"He brings an abundance of experience and having worked in the Premiership for so long, I am very aware of the qualities he will bring to Cardiff Blues," the former Wales prop added.

"He is a first-class goal-kicker, with a quality tactical kicking game and is a great distributor, who can run an attacking game while also sound in defence.

"He is experienced, very professional and will relish competing for a starting spot at the Arms Park while helping young players develop their all round games."

Wales, who have won both their opening two games in this year's Six Nations, next host champions England on February 27.

jdg/iwd