Priestland cuts a dejected figure following series defeat
Nigel Davies reckons Rhys Priestland will bounce back stronger than ever following Wales' 3-0 series defeat in Australia.
The fly-half was criticised in some quarters for his performances during the Test series Down Under.
But Davies, who nurtured Priestland's talent at the Scarlets before switching to Gloucester earlier this month, insists the 25-year-old will have an illustrious international career.
"Rhys is a quality player and he will play for Wales for years to come," said Davies.
"But it goes with the turf unfortunately when you play 10 for Wales.
"I can remember Stephen Jones and Neil Jenkins in my time - fantastic players. But you always have periods when you get a lot of stick if you are a 10.
"Rhys is having that now - he is used to it. He's done it with the Scarlets and he came through a very rough patch there and he just kicked on.
"It's part of his learning experience. I could see that Rhys was reading the game very well [in Australia].
"He didn't always execute what he wanted to do. He is playing within a game plan as well - there are a number of factors."
Wales made a slow start in Australia and lost the first Test 27-19 in Brisbane but they came out firing in the rest of the series and came agonisingly close to securing a historic win - eventually losing 25-23 and 20-19.
But Davies, who was officially unveiled as Gloucester's new director of rugby on Monday, reckons there is plenty to be proud of and to build upon.
"The margins were very tight. All three games Wales could have won," added Davies.
"Their commitment was fantastic. The way they played for the vast majority of those games was great and they are getting there.
"I can remember in the mid-90s going to Australia and being thumped by 50 points, so there is no doubt that Wales is moving forward.
"It's also great to see Wales Under-20s doing so well in the Junior World Championship and coming third.
"So, you have to look at the positives and not the negatives in this and look historically where Wales have been over the last 30 years and where they are getting to now and there is a lot to be optimistic about.
"It's becoming less of a mental problem. Physically we are able to compete. Technically we are able to compete and mentally now we are getting stronger and stronger."
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series