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'When I got to finally speak to him I was a bit sheepish'

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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Callum Sheedy says he has relished being on Wales international duty so soon after a brutal end to Bristol’s Gallagher Premiership season. The Bristol fly-half had little time to dwell on a shattering play-off defeat against Harlequins just over two weeks ago. Quins wiped out a 28-point deficit at Ashton Gate to win 43-36 after extra-time, ending Bristol’s title hopes, and were then crowned champions following an equally memorable Twickenham victory over Exeter seven days later.

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Sheedy has already returned to Test match rugby, kicking 14 points as Wales launched their summer series by beating Canada 68-12. And Argentina now await the Guinness Six Nations title holders, meaning no let-up for Sheedy and company.

“The way it [the play-off] ended was brutal and I still feel I am going to wake up and it was a bad dream,” he said. “To come straight into (the Wales) camp was brilliant because there is nothing worse if you have a bad loss and have to sit and dwell on it for up to eight weeks.

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“Being able to come into a new environment, refresh the brain and get back to work, there is no time to be feeling sorry for yourself when you come into an international camp, otherwise you will be left behind. It takes your mind off the club stuff and you are 100 per cent in this mindset.”

Sheedy has excelled under the direction of his Bristol boss Pat Lam, playing key roles in last year’s European Challenge Cup final triumph and Bristol finishing top after the recent regular Premiership season. He continues to flourish on the international scene, working with two of Wales’ finest fly-halves in Stephen Jones and Neil Jenkins.

Skills and kicking specialist Jenkins, Wales’ record Test match points scorer, is currently on British and Irish Lions duty in South Africa, but attack coach Jones offers key guidance ahead of back-to-back encounters against Argentina. Sheedy added: “It was weird when I first met Steve because I grew up watching him, and his battles with (former Ireland fly-half) Ronan O’Gara over the years would be my favourite games and stuff. When I got to finally speak to him I was a bit sheepish and could not believe it was actually him.

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Being able to work with him and see his ideas, his energy and enthusiasm on the game and for attacking rugby really does rub off on the players. I definitely feel by working with Stephen and Neil – those guys who have played 10 for Wales with so many caps – just makes me such a better person and player.

“Steve and Wayne (Pivac, Wales’ head coach) are all for ‘if you see it, go for it’, so in terms of the bigger picture, there aren’t that many differences (between Wales and Bristol). When you get to the international stage, you have to be a little bit more pragmatic in terms of where you are playing on the pitch. Territory is key in a lot of these games. That doesn’t mean you kick everything, because you can still run and make ground. It is kind of marrying up the two.”

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'When I got to finally speak to him I was a bit sheepish'

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