Wales
Rhys Priestland needs to 'toughen up' says Wales legend Jonathan Davies
ESPN Staff
October 27, 2015
Rhys Priestland of Wales
Rhys Priestland of Wales© Stu Forster/Getty Images

Rhys Priestland's decision to take an 18-month break from international rugby has been criticised by Jonathan Davies -- with the former Wales fly-half telling the Bath man to "toughen up".

Priestland has been no stranger to criticism during his 40-cap Wales career, but Davies fears he will come to regret stepping away from the Test arena.

"He does get a lot of stick, but he's got to take it on the chin and toughen up a little bit," Davies told BBC Radio Wales.

"Because if you're playing 10 and you are in the public eye, it comes with the territory so for me it's a strange decision and one that I think he will regret when he retires."

Priestland played a starring role as Wales made the semifinals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but his confidence has suffered in the intervening years.

The fly-half has revealed in the past that he has been reluctant to play, and in 2012 used a sports psychologist as criticism on social media took its toll.

However, Davies -- who played for Wales at both rugby union and league -- says he does not understand the decision made by Priestland, who made his Aviva Premiership debut last weekend.

"The only real beneficiary is Bath," Davies added. "When I came back from rugby league I didn't really want to play for Wales because I thought I was finished.

"But when the opportunity comes you have to cherish it because representing your country is the biggest honour that you'll ever have."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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