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."
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.