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Priestland fully aware of rich Anglo-Welsh history as Cardiff welcome Bath in pre-season

First Team News | 28th July 2021

Rhys Priestland is fully aware of the rich history and tradition of Anglo-Welsh encounters, as the outside half prepares to take on his former Bath Rugby team-mates during pre-season.

The 50-times capped Welsh international arrived at Cardiff Arms Park this summer following six years with the West Country outfit, and could potentially be in-line to make his home debut for his new club against his former team-mates during pre-season.

Cardiff today confirmed an Anglo Welsh double-header for pre-season, as they also travel to London to take on Gallagher Premiership champions, Harlequins.

Priestland said he learnt a lot about the history of Anglo-Welsh fixtures the during his time at The Rec and enjoys the competitive edge of the encounters.

"To be honest, I didn’t realise how big the history of these Anglo-Welsh games are until I got to know former players up in Bath," said the playmaker.

"I went to a few past player events up there and all they spoke about were trips down to Wales.

"I know they were quite a while back in the past but they used to love coming down and playing against the likes of Neath, Cardiff, Llanelli, Swansea. They still talk about those days. 

"I always thought it was the Welsh teams who wanted to play against the English sides and do well, but it was definitely a two-way thing.

"The English clubs loved coming down to Wales and playing against the Welsh teams."

During his time in Bath, Priestland featured against his home-town club, Scarlets, where he came through the academy.

The outside half, therefore, is no stranger to playing against ex-team-mates and is excited to welcoming the West Country side to the capital ahead of the new campaign.

The Welsh international added: "It will be interesting! I played a couple of times against Scarlets while I was at Bath, and had a couple of really good friends in that squad.

"It’s always funny to play against them, from the build up in the week to seeing them before the game and in the game itself.

"It’s always good fun and adds a bit extra if you’ve got an affiliation with a club or been with a club previously.

"It should be good, and Bath have a fantastic squad over there with new coaches going in.

"It will be interesting to see how they develop over the summer. It should be a fantastic game."