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Gloucester Rugby: Rhys Priestland to stay with Scarlets

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 18, 2014

Rhys Priestland has signed a new deal with the Scarlets

RHYS Priestland has ended speculation over a move to England by signing a contract extension with the Scarlets.

The Wales fly-half was set to become available in the summer and had been linked with several Aviva Premiership clubs including Gloucester.

Nigel Davies developed the 26-year-old during his tenure at Parc y Scarlets and is a known admirer of his talents.

It is understood there was some contact between the two parties, with London Wasps and Leicester Tigers also interested, but Priestland has opted to remain in Wales.

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Scarlets director of rugby Simon Easterby said: "Rhys has become one of our most experienced players and has a lot to contribute to the region on and off the field. He's a key figure in our squad, an intelligent rugby player who thinks quickly, reads a game well.

"A lot has been said about how to retain our best players in Wales; and while market forces can be difficult to battle at times, there is another dimension to this discussion and that's about creating a regional rugby environment and culture that engenders loyalty, motivation and drive in players with the support to succeed.

"It was really important to us all to keep Rhys and other players at Parc y Scarlets. We are delighted that someone of his ability, experience and with genuine passion for our region, has committed to remain with us."

With Freddie Burns departing in the summer, Davies is in the hunt for fly-halves. He revealed at last week’s Fans Forum that the services of one pivot have already been secured but the club are currently unable to announce the deal. Stephen Brett and Gareth Anscombe have been linked with the first-choice positions.

The Cherry and Whites also remain in the hunt for Brett’s Bayonne teammate Santiago Fernandez, who has established himself in the number 10 jersey at Stade Jean-Dauger in recent weeks.

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