Exiled Wales international out-half Rhys Priestland will join Cardiff Blues ahead of the 2021/22 season on a long-term deal. The 34-year-old’s contract at Bath expires in the summer after six seasons at The Rec and will boost his chances of a recall to the international fold after signing for the Welsh region.
Priestland, who has not played for Wales since 2017, made 109 appearances for Bath, scoring 810 points and was the Gallagher Premiership top points scorer last season. Priestland spent eight years at Scarlets, where he made 150 appearances, before his move to Bath and has been capped 50 times for Wales.
Cardiff Blues interim director of rugby Dai Young said on the club’s official website: “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.
“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. 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.”
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) February 17, 2021
Priestland is well accustomed to the Guinness PRO14 scene having come through the ranks at the Scarlets and making 150 appearances for the Llanelli-based outfit. Wales boss Wayne Pivac last month tried to get permission from the WRU to select him in his Six Nations squad but he was told this could not happen as no deal had yet been signed with a Welsh region.
“In terms of Rhys Priestland, we have asked the question along the lines of the Rhys Webb question when that was done at the time,” said Pivac in January. “For us, it’s about can we select Rhys if we need to call upon him. And that question has been asked. And so we have selected what we have on the basis that they are available. So we now know whether or not we can use Rhys should we get a further injury – and no, we can’t.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 20, 2021
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now