Fixtures - Top Bar

Warburton backs Priestland to challenge Ford at Bath Rugby

Rhys Priestland will switch the Scarlets for Bath Rugby this autumn and Wales captain Sam Warburton expects the move to work wonders for the fly-half.

In the last 18 months Priestland has lost his Wales No.10 shirt to the ever-impressive Dan Biggar while facing growing competition at Parc y Scarlets from the likes of Steve Shingler.

In an attempt to freshen things up, the 28-year-old will arrive in Aviva Premiership Rugby at the Rec next season to provide England fly-half George Ford with some competition.

And while the task of dethroning Bath’s diminutive talisman appears a stiff one, Warburton expects his Wales teammate to cause him a few headaches next season.

“Bath are a great club,” said Warburton, who was speaking ahead of Land Rover recruiting two official Rugby World Cup 2015 mascots at a beach rugby festival on Barry Island on Saturday July 4.

“With the facilities they have got, they are on the way up and with someone like Rhys, the better the players you put him with, the better he plays.

“He has been a great servant for the Scarlets for a while now and he would be a great addition to any squad. I am sure Rhys will add a lot to Bath and it will be a great battle for the No.10 shirt.”

However, in the short-term Warburton has warned Priestland to be wary of the likes of Matthew Morgan, Rhys Patchell and Gareth Anscombe, as they battle for places in Warren Gatland’s 31-man World Cup squad.

“From my experience in the 2011 World Cup there are players who might have been on the fringe of the squad at this stage but they worked their way into the World Cup,” he said.

“Everybody has got an opportunity. The coaches are very much of the opinion that if you are in form, then you will be given a crack. If you are good enough, then you are old enough.”

Whoever does make the squad faces a tough test come September, with Wales lining up in Pool A alongside England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.

And while their clash with the Red Rose at Twickenham is already getting the juices flowing, Warburton is adamant revenge is not on the brain following England's Six Nations win in Cardiff earlier this year.

He added: “It is a tough pool but we are going to have to beat sides like that if we want to win it anyway. England will be one of the highest-profile games that any of us will be involved in.

“Games go back and forth, you win some and you lose some but because it’s Wales-England it will always have a massive amount of expectation from both sets of fans. You don’t need much to get very excited for that game.”

Latest News

Bath Rugby surpass 40,000 ticket sales for The Clash

Bath Rugby is thrilled to confirm that over 40,000 tickets have been sold for The Clash, when they will take…

Bath Rugby

Evans determined for a Harlequins top-six finish

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans is determined to drive Harlequins to a top-six finish as the Aviva Premiership Rugby season reaches…

We’ll expect a physical test against Saints, says Worcester’s Ben Howard

Ben Howard is expecting a big, physical battle when his Worcester Warriors side face Northampton Saints on Saturday. Full-back Howard,…

Evans and Lambert return to the starting line-up for the visit of Leicester Tigers

Harlequins has announced the team to play Leicester Tigers in Round 15 of the Aviva Premiership tomorrow at The Stoop,…

Nick Evans

Leicester Tigers team news ahead of Aviva Premiership trip to The Stoop

Lachlan McCaffrey and Peter Betham return to the Leicester Tigers team for Friday's Aviva Premiership Round 16 fixture away to…

Peter Betham

Front-row trio sign new deals at Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has spoken of his delight after three of his current squad today put pen…

Ben Moon

RFU Disciplinary Hearing: Steve Diamond

The charge against Steve Diamond of Sale Sharks for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or the Game,…

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…

Wembley

Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson