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Scarlet Priestland gets backing from Howley

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 Nov 2012

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Jackson's opposite number fared better and finished with an 11-point haul..

Scarlets fly-half Rhys Priestland has been backed by Wales coach Rob Howley to bounce back from his dip in form.

Priestland, 25, has been in indifferent form in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season and has carried that into the autumn internationals, where his kicking has come in for criticism.

As a result, he has sought the advice of sports psychologist Andy McCann but Howley has moved to defend Priestland’s performances, claiming that the two high-profile missed kicks against New Zealand happen because of Wales’ tactics rather than his own deficiencies.

“Rhys started particularly well and was disappointed with the second kick which we are adamant went in touch,” Howley told Wales Online.

“Those are the 50/50 decisions you need to go your way. We are always onto Rhys about exhausting kicks rather than play safe.

“That gives a different mindset to opposition teams if they are defend lineouts from only five metres out.

“The coaching team take the consequences if it does not happen.

“Seeing a sports psychologist is what a lot of players do when things are going well and badly.

“Andy is someone who has been in our camp and players are comfortable with him.”