Rhys Patchell admits he’s suffered”a difficult year” before his return to the Wales Test team against Ireland on Saturday.
Scarlets fly-half Patchell last began for his country about the 2018 summer tour to Argentina, when he kicked 20 points as Wales beat the Pumas 30-12 at Santa Fe.
Concussion difficulties and a torn hamstring combined to disrupt the international career of the 26-year-old, also place his place at Wales’ World Cup squad in query.
But an impressive show off the bench to Ireland last weekend served as a reminder of the quality.
“It has been a challenging year, that’s for certain,” Patchell said. “I won’t be looking back on it (last year ) too many times.
“It was not the disaster many outlets made it sound like, however it wasn’t the year you would like moving to a World Cup.
“A few concussions were difficult to manage, and tearing a hamstring was not perfect. It stuttered any momentum that I tried to pick up during the season.
“Game one I had been concussed, came back, began finding a bit of rhythm and got concussed again.
“I came back, then tore my hamstring and you’re forever chasing your tail. It is exactly what it is where we are, and we’re now. Luckily, it has worked out for the best.”
Patchell was still competing to rear up Dan Biggar in Japan, with Gareth Anscombe ruled out of this World Cup with a knee injury, and they had a closing 40-minute audition at the Principality Stadium.
It had been Patchell who won the coaches’ vote as he had done for the 2015 World Cup if he was one of a first contingent cut from Wales’ championship training squad that is extended.
“He (Evans) fell me a text after the statement, and I answered,” Patchell added. “This was really good of him.
“Of course I felt . I could totally empathise with him, having been there myself.
“It is not an easy position to maintain. That’s game, someone has to miss out. I sensed for all the boys who got a phone call or text.
“Jarrod and I had been clearly conscious that since a 10 you have to do what’s best for your team. You can only deal with what’s facing you.
“I had been speaking to friends and family on the Friday night saying’that is it, we will see how it goes’.
“It is hard, trying to become as great as you can on the day. When the cards fall your way, good. That’s the way it goes if they don’t.
“The attention was being as good as I might be for the group, trying to push the staff around the playground and get us into great positions and get our shape moving. Fortunately, the coaches liked what they saw, I assume.”
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