Article

Blow for Wales as Priestland ruled out of Six Nations

11 December 2012 19:20

Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland will miss the entire Six Nations campaign after undergoing surgery on an Achilles injury.

The 25-year-old went under the knife on Tuesday after snapping his Achilles tendon playing for Scarlets in the Heineken Cup against Exeter on Saturday.

Priestland has won 22 caps for his country and will be sorely missed by Wales as they attempt to retain their Six Nations title.

He is also in serious doubt for the 2014 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia due to the injury.

"It's a big blow for Rhys and for our region to lose a player of his quality and influence in our team," Scarlets coach Simon Easterby said.

"He was coming through well in the last couple of (Wales) games of the autumn, put in a strong performance against Australia and was making a real impact on our game against Exeter, so it is very difficult for him to take. But he will get plenty of support from here throughout the injury period."

Head of Scarlets' medical department, Andrew Walker, said Priestland's recovery will be helped by a new type of surgery that could hasten his return to rugby.

"Rhys' surgery was performed by a new keyhole surgery technique which is non-invasive and will aid his recovery and allow him to get into rehab with our medical team at a quicker stage," Walker said.

"The anticipated time off the field is around six months, but it all depends on the individual and how his rehab goes in the interim.

"It's a difficult injury, but we have been fortunate to have had the injury assessed and repaired surgically so promptly, and by a very experienced ankle and foot specialist."

Priestland joins the likes of Aaron Jarvis, Alun-Wyn Jones and Dan Lydiate on the sidelines.

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