Priestland ready for return

Rhys Priestland is on the verge of making his comeback after Achilles surgery and reckons the injury was a blessing in disguise. [more]

Priestland ready for return

Rhys Priestland is on the verge of making his comeback after Achilles surgery and reckons the injury was a blessing in disguise.

The Wales fly-half ruptured his Achilles during the Scarlets’ Heineken Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs last December.

Priestland underwent corrective surgery as a result and missed the entire RBS 6 Nations.

It was initially feared that Priestland could be out of action for six months but he has been passed fit to return to action and could face Cardiff Blues on the weekend.

“I’d never wish to rupture my Achilles again, but it’s been good for me,” he said.

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“It’s been nice to have a rest and get the rest of my body feeling good as well.

“All in all, I’m feeling pretty good and I’m just looking forward to getting back playing rugby and enjoying it.

“I’ve passed all the tests with the physios and conditioners, so it’s whenever the coaches pick me now.

“It’s up to them. It’s out of my hands now, I just want to come back and feel good with the way I play.”

Priestland had been a favourite to tour Australia with the Lions prior to his injury.

Warren Gatland has already indicated he is likely to take just two specialist fly-halves and the likes of Jonny Sexton, Owen Farrell and Dan Biggar are all leading the chase.

But Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby, a Lions tourist in 2005, reckons Priestland could still make the trip

“The Lions would be a huge bonus from where he has been with the injury,” said Easterby.

“He’s fairly level headed and won’t get to far ahead of things.

“But if he can play a few games for us he might get an opportunity and there’s also Wales’s tour of Japan.

“I’m sure Rhys will be at the top of the list of fly-halves to travel out to Australia if someone gets injured.”

But Priestland’s sole focus will be on playing his part in the Scarlets’ bid for the RaboDirect PRO12 crown.

Easterby’s men are currently fifth but only trail the Ospreys, who have a tougher run in, by points difference.

The Scarlets finish the regular season with home clashes against Cardiff Blues and Benetton Treviso and Priestland is determined to make a difference.

“I’d love to get into the play-offs with the Scarlets, because as a group we’ve been close the last couple of years and not quite got there,” added the 2012 Grand Slammer.

“This year we have the potential and I think we are going to get there, I would love to be a part of it.”

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