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Scarlets duo thrilled with Welsh debuts

Guinness PRO12 Editor

14 Feb 2011


Scarlets young guns Rhys Priestland and Josh Turnbull realised their dreams on Saturday by running out in the red of Wales for their first senior caps.

First Turnbull and then Priestland stepped out onto the Murrayfield turf to gain their first taste of senior International rugby during the last ten minutes of Wales' victory over Scotland.

Respectively they became Wales' 1,078th and 1,079th Test caps and after shining in the Magners League for the Scarlets both were overjoyed to fulfil their lifelong ambitions.

"I am delighted," said Priestland.

"It is something I didn't think was going to happen a couple of years ago, but a lot of people, the coaches at the Scarlets, Nigel Davies, Mark Jones, Simon Easterby, Robin McBryde and John Muggleton when he was there, have invested a lot of hard work and time in me, which I am very grateful for.

"It was a special day. The atmosphere was fantastic last weekend in Cardiff and equally special today. I am enjoying every minute of this.

"Hopefully, I can be involved in the three remaining matches and hopefully play a bigger role."

The moment must have been particularly sweet for Turnbull who was unused during Wales' summer tour of Canada two year's ago.

"I was in the stand and watching Dan Lydiate and Sam Warburton playing so well and I was wondering whether I would get on," said the 22-year-old flanker.

"When I did, it was a special moment that I will treasure forever. I feel it got away from me a couple of seasons ago when I went on tour to North America and came back as the only uncapped player.

"I have been away from the fold for a couple of years. But I felt this year I have put my hand up with my performances for the Scarlets and I think I have merited it.

"With the way Dan and Warby are playing, you know that if you want to get into this team you have to make a difference when you come on.

"I'd like to think I did put my hand up and hopefully have merited being in the 22 for the next games."