Scarlets No.10 Rhys Priestland has established himself as Wales’ number one fly-half since bursting onto the international scene at last year’s World Cup before helping Warren Gatland’s side to the Grand Slam this year.
The 25-year-old has racked up 548 points in his 75 RaboDirect PRO12 appearances for Scarlets and he has played an instrumental role in helping the Llanelli side into the top two in the league.
Ahead of the first RaboDirect PRO12 break for European action, Priestland reveals his love for golf, his banking background and spills the beans about his lucky pants to the RaboDirect PRO12 website.
What are your nicknames?
I don’t really have any that have caught on if I’m honest. Liam Williams keeps on trying to call me the Sherminator but I think that’s because he’s been called it a bit and he’s trying to pass it off onto me – it’s not sticking though!
If you weren’t playing rugby what would you want to be?
I think I’d be working in a bank somewhere – I’ve got a degree in economics so I’d have to think I’d be doing something to do with finance. I’ve got pretty used to the hours that I spend training now though so I’m not sure I could handle a full-on, full-time job. Maybe by the time I retire it’ll be something to fall back on, we’ll see.
Who are your rugby heroes?
Christian Cullen is the one that stands out for me. I remember watching him playing for the Hurricanes and the All Blacks in what was then the Super 12 and he was phenomenal. He wasn’t the biggest but he was fantastic running with the ball and slicing open defences.
Who has been your best ever roommate?
I’m going to have to say Gethin Jenkins because he’ll get upset with me if I don’t. I’ve roomed with Gethin plenty of times – I think he likes to share with me because I just let him sleep all the time!
Who’s your gym buddy?
George North and I are often in the gym together, lifting similar weights and the like so I’ll say George for that one.
Which rugby player would you least like to meet down a dark alley?
After a lot of deliberation I’m go for my Scarlets teammate Josh Turnbull. He’s so clumsy that even if he’s trying to walk past you he’ll still bang into you so I wouldn’t want to come across him down a dark alley.
What are your guilty ‘diet’ pleasures?
Fairly simple really – my favourite food is steak, chips and peppercorn sauce.
What are your hobbies outside rugby?
I like to play golf on my days off. I play off a handicap of 12 but I’m not a member anywhere so I play around a few different courses and unfortunately I’ve got a bit of a bad back at the minute so I haven’t been able to play as much as I’d like recently.
What newspapers do you read?
I don’t really read any of the daily or weekly national papers but I do read the Economist from time to time to keep up to date with the financial goings on around the world.
Who is your favourite rugby pundit?
Will Greenwood is probably the pick of the bunch for me – simply because of some of the adjectives he uses.
Do you have any superstitions?
I used to have a pair of lucky pants and lucky socks that I used to wear for every game but one day I couldn’t find them and it drove me mad so to make sure that doesn’t happen again I don’t go in for that kind of thing anymore.