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Six Nations 2013: Cardiff’s Patchell in contention for starting spot – Howley

Six Nations 2013: Wales interim head coach Rob Howley says Cardiff fly-half Rhys Patchell is in contention for starting spot

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Rob Howley is the interim Wales head coachPhoto: National Assembly For Wales

rob howley

Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley has confirmed Cardiff Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell is on his Six Nations radar after the rookie’s recent domestic heroics.

With Scarlets No10 Rhys Priestland ruled out for the entire Six Nations campaign with a torn Achilles, there is a vacant berth in the Welsh squad.

Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar along with James Hook are expected to be in Howley’s Six Nations plans, however if the caretaker coach opts for three fly-half’s, then Patchell has seemingly played his way into contention.

Despite his tender years, Patchell is just 19, Howley has confirmed the Blues youngster is a player he is considering.

“Rhys is a young, developing player who is an option for us, but whether we pick two or three No.10s in the squad we will have to wait and see,” Howley told Wales Online.

“What is in no doubt is that Rhys has taken his chance with the Blues and I am in constant communication with Phil Davies and Gareth Baber about his talents.

“His kicking and defensive game is good and he is also quick to make a break and challenge the line.”

However while Patchell is in Howley’s thoughts the Wales boss confirmed Biggar and Hook remain in the box seat for Six Nations duty.

“We will miss Rhys but we feel we have some strength in Dan and James,” said Howley.

“There is good competition there because they are both hugely skilful players.

“Dan was one of the form players going into the autumn before his injury against Samoa and he has been playing well since.

“We have always talked about Dan’s kicking game being effective but he has become more of a running threat now.

“He is creating a lot of opportunities for the team and himself and is putting together an all-round game.

“Dan just needs to take it onto another level now when he gets the opportunities with Wales.

“I have spoken to James over the last few days and we are hoping he will play some part in Perpignan’s final Amlin Challenge Cup game.

“Failing that, he should be available the following week in the French domestic league the weekend before the Ireland opener.”

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