Cardiff Blues have announced the signing of Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland from Bath as the first new face in the squad for the 2021/22 season.
The 34-year-old started his career at the Scarlets, making his senior debut in 2005 before going on to make over 150 appearances as well as playing for Carmarthen Quins. He joined Bath in 2015 and recently made his 100th appearance for the English side where he has become a firm favourite.
Priestland made his Wales debut in February 2011 against Scotland and has gone on to win 50 caps, playing in the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups before falling foul of the 60-cap rule, winning his most recent cap in November 2017.
He will now compete with Jarrod Evans and Jason Tovey for the number 10 jersey at the Arms Park, as well as mentoring the likes of Ben Thomas, Luke Scully and Ben Burnell as they come through the development pathway.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, Priestland said “I have loved my time at Bath. I needed a change of environment and possibly stayed at the Scarlets a year too long but moving here has been great for me. Some of the coaches and players I have had the opportunity to work and play with has been great, I have learnt a lot and enjoyed playing in the Premiership.
“However now is the right time to come back to Wales and I’m really excited about the future at Cardiff. They have a really exciting squad with a lot of good young players and some talented young coaches who I know well like Richie Rees, Tom Smith and Dwayne Peel, who will also be joining next season.
“Everyone speaks very highly of Dai and he has achieved some great things in the game as a coach with Cardiff Blues and Wasps, so I’m really looking forward to hopefully working for him. There is a lot of potential at Cardiff to kick on and I’m really looking forward to playing my part.
I still have plenty to give on the pitch and look forward to competing for a starting jersey but I also hope to pass on my experience in the game. I have really enjoyed doing that at Bath and would love to help develop the young players at the Blues while hopefully learning from the likes of Jarrod, who is one of the most talented attacking 10s around.”