Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland not losing any sleep over Wales future

Priestland has been in fine form for Bath in the opening two games of the season. Phil Hutchinson/Action Plus

Bath's Wales international fly-half Rhys Priestland says he would be surprised if he plays for his country again.

Priestland has won 48 caps, but his last Test start came in Wales' 2015 Rugby World Cup opener against Uruguay.

He was captured by the Welsh Rugby Union's senior player selection policy last season that affects some players based outside Wales, meaning he required a wildcard pick from head coach Warren Gatland.

Gatland's wildcard options are limited to four players this term and next, dropping to two for the 2019-20 World Cup season.

Priestland, who signed a new Bath deal seven months ago, remains wildcard material ahead of this season's autumn Tests, but the 30-year-old playmaker says he is not experiencing "sleepless nights" worrying about international matters.

"My sole focus is with Bath -- that is all I am concentrating on," the former Scarlets No. 10 said.

"I would be surprised if I play for Wales again.

"For me, I just want to play well for Bath. I love it at the club. It's a fantastic place to play and a fantastic place to live."

Asked if he thought he might come under Wales consideration this term, Priestland added: "I honestly wouldn't have a clue.

"They've obviously got Biggs [Dan Biggar], Sam [Davies], Owen Williams and Rhys Patchell. They have got a lot of good options there, and a lot of young guys as well who are going to get better and better.

"You might think I am making it up, but I haven't given it any thought at all.

"It has been so busy at Bath. Everyone is so focused in terms of what we want to achieve this season that I haven't really got much time to think about anything else.

"I am not a stupid boy. I know realistically that if they were going to pick three [wildcard] players [last season], it would be Jamie [Roberts], Toby [Faletau] and George North. And to be fair, I was injured as well.

"I am at ease. I have played 48 times [for Wales]. If I play again, I play again, but if I don't, I don't.

"I don't have sleepless nights worrying about whether I am going to get into the Wales squad or not."

Priestland's form during the opening two Aviva Premiership games for Bath, though, could hardly have failed to escape Gatland's attention.

He barely put a foot wrong in guiding the west country club to victories over Leicester -- Bath's first league win at Welford Road for 14 years -- and then European champions Saracens last weekend, and Priestland now returns to action at Northampton on Friday.

Bath rugby director Todd Blackadder said: "He has been outstanding, absolutely oustanding. It is out of the shadows and into the light for him. The way he controlled the Saracens game was outstanding.

"He is driving this team. He has been superb."

Priestland joined Bath from the Scarlets in 2015, and after filling largely a support role to England star George Ford, he has stepped up magnificently following Ford's Recreation Ground departure for Leicester.

"When it came to leaving the Scarlets, I knew it was time for me to leave," Priestland said.

"I had been there so long, and I needed something new. It was a bit of the unknown, but I have got absolutely no regrets in coming to Bath."