And he responded with an outstanding all round performance, including two conversions, as Wales outscored their host by three tries to two in a 23-19 defeat.
"I had about five minutes warning before the game started that I was switching positions, which wasn't really ideal. My mind went blank to begin with and I couldn't remember any of the calls," said Priestland.
"But Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies were great and took the pressure off me. In the end it was the same old story - we need to be more clinical.
"We wanted to be only the second Wales team to win here in 20 years and we are disappointed with the result. We finished strongly, but we gave away some soft tries with some poor tackling.
"England are a quality team with strength in depth everywhere, so we knew it was going to be a really tough test for us. There is a lot to work on and, hopefully, we can get a better performance and result next week."
Jones' injury allowed another Scarlet, Morgan Stoddart to come into the side at full back, but his bid for a World Cup spot ended in second half agony when he was taken off the field on a stretcher with a suspected broken leg.