Wayne Pivac’s Wales are having issues with their out-halves in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations, but the situation won’t lead to a call-up this week for Callum Sheedy, the Welsh-qualified player who has been setting the Gallagher Premiership alight with Bristol.
Sheedy, who is eligible to represent Wales, England and Ireland, was to the fore in Bristol’s latest league win, the comeback victory at Northampton on Sunday that lifted the Bears into fourth spot on the table.
However, rather than his rich seam of form catapulting him into the international reckoning ahead of Wales’ round three fixture at home to France next Saturday, Sheedy will instead be busy preparing for Bristol’s next game at home next Sunday versus Worcester at Ashton Gate.
Wales’ Dan Biggar is recovering from his third concussion this season following the defeat to Ireland and Jarrod Evans is currently the only other out-half in their squad.
Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell are sidelined while and Owen Williams was ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a hamstring injury following a problem sustained pre-game in Dublin where he was supposed to provide bench back-up.
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Wales could be about to abandon its 60-cap rule
Despite playing in the English Premiership, 24-year-old Sheedy has been linked with a call-up as his uncapped status means he would get around the 60-cap rule applying to Welsh players plying their club trade elsewhere.
However, asked by BT Sport following Bristol’s success at Franklin’s Gardens if he had spoken to Pivac, Sheedy said: “No I haven’t. We’ve had two weeks to prepare for this game.
"Great character from the boys to score 20 unanswered points." ?
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) February 16, 2020
“Lots of things get said in the press and in the papers and on social media and stuff. I try to ignore that and just do my best for the team. The biggest thing today was to get the win so I’m really happy with the four points.”
It was last April when Sheedy discussed with RugbyPass his eligibility for three countries. “My mum’s Welsh, my dad’s Irish (from Kildare) and I moved to England five years ago so there is a twist to it,” he explained.
“It’s a tough one but yeah, obviously my main focus is playing consistently well for Bristol and trying to play as much as I can and as well as I can and whatever happens internationally happens (happens). It’s an odd one, isn’t it?”
Good insight to the half-back battle with Ian Madigan and also Pat Lam's unifying qualities https://t.co/RWZ2itPvKK
— liam heagney (@heagneyl) April 26, 2019
Within a few weeks, Sheedy was called up by Jim Mallinder to feature for an England XV in their exhibition match with the Barbarians. It was a non-cap fixture, so his appearance meant he wasn’t captured forever by England.
Sheedy played for Wales under-16s and switched to Ireland at under-19s level for a FIRA championship in Portugal in 2014. He then turned down an opportunity to line out for Wales in the 2015 under-20s Six Nations. If he had played at under-20s, he would have become Welsh qualified only.
WATCH: RugbyPass goes behind the scenes at Bristol Bears as they look to shake things up in the Premiership
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