I’ve sought pyschiatrist’s help, admits Priestland

I’ve sought pyschiatrist’s help, admits Priestland

I’ve sought pyschiatrist’s help, admits Priestland

First published in Wales rugby Campaign Series: Photograph of the Author by

RHYS Priestland has bared his soul after telling how he has turned to a sports psychiatrist to help him cope with the personal torment he has suffered this autumn.

Wales’ under fire No 10 has endured a miserable month and has taken heavy flak by both press and public over some poor performances.

Priestland made two expensive errors in the 33-10 defeat to New Zealand after he missed two penalty kicks to touch, Wales turning down probable points by going for broke – and losing.

It spoke volumes when James Hook was roundly cheered at the Millennium Stadium by the home fans when he replaced the Scarlets man in the 67th minute.

With the knives out for Priestland again, once the darling of Welsh rugby after a good World Cup, eyebrows were raised on Saturday when he was brought out to talk to journalists after the game.

It was an excellent move, because one couldn’t help feeling very sympathetic for the 25-year-old when he opened up about his personal hell over the last few weeks.

He has been the subject of some heavy criticism after Wales’ embarrassing 26-12 defeat to Argentina and, in particular, after coming on as a replacement for Dan Biggar in the 26-19 setback to Samoa.

“I have been pretty down over the last couple of weeks,” Priestland admitted.

“After Samoa I didn’t want to leave the flat or want to see anyone.

“I never go on the field and not give 100 per cent but felt I had let people down.

“The poor performances against Samoa and Argentina were a lot to do with me because I have been playing with blinkers on.

“Cutting myself away and that has been the problem.”

He added: “I buried my head in the sand and did not leave the flat. One of the issues I had was I have not been asking for help. Typically as a character I try and sort things out myself and I have not been able to do that.”

Things got so bad, he confessed, he had to find help.

“I knew I had to sort things out in the build-up to the New Zealand game,” he said.

“I have started to see the sports psychiatrist we used during the World Cup and he has been really good.

“A lot of the boys have been using Andy McCann, so I thought I would give it a shot because I had nothing to lose.

“I was really looking forward to this game because it was the first time I had played against the All Blacks.

“I have tried to address that now and hopefully I can get back to the way I have been playing.”

Comments (11)

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10:45am Mon 26 Nov 12

Dee-Gee says...

Great to hear a sportsman speaking openly about getting mental health treatment. I don't know why it has to be a case of "admits", though.

You never read "I've had physio, admits Joe Bloggs", do you?
Great to hear a sportsman speaking openly about getting mental health treatment. I don't know why it has to be a case of "admits", though. You never read "I've had physio, admits Joe Bloggs", do you? Dee-Gee
  • Score: 0

11:19am Mon 26 Nov 12

schlep says...

Hi Rhys, its only a game. Good if we do our best and win but a loss is not life threatening. Hope you get your confidence back soon. Wales needs you.

Not a bad game on saturday. Thought if we had kept our starting line up we would have faired better.
Hi Rhys, its only a game. Good if we do our best and win but a loss is not life threatening. Hope you get your confidence back soon. Wales needs you. Not a bad game on saturday. Thought if we had kept our starting line up we would have faired better. schlep
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Euwan Usami says...

He is not at fault to be honest. Gatland is for picking an out of form player repeatedly. It's not helping anyone. Surely Hook has to start against Australia, we have to give it everything to avoid dropping out of the top 8 for the World Cup groups. Let Priestland get his form back at regional level. He's only a kid, plenty of time for him yet.
He is not at fault to be honest. Gatland is for picking an out of form player repeatedly. It's not helping anyone. Surely Hook has to start against Australia, we have to give it everything to avoid dropping out of the top 8 for the World Cup groups. Let Priestland get his form back at regional level. He's only a kid, plenty of time for him yet. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Dai the Milk says...

Iwan,

Your deliberate, alarmist choice of words is poor journalism. He has consulted the WRU sports PSYCHOLOGIST. There is a world of difference. There is no stigma attached to the correct word. Not impressed. Give the boy a break. He has had enough hassle from mindless idiots on Twitter even though the real culprits are his coaches for picking constantly a player who is out of form.
Iwan, Your deliberate, alarmist choice of words is poor journalism. He has consulted the WRU sports PSYCHOLOGIST. There is a world of difference. There is no stigma attached to the correct word. Not impressed. Give the boy a break. He has had enough hassle from mindless idiots on Twitter even though the real culprits are his coaches for picking constantly a player who is out of form. Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Mon 26 Nov 12

a465hov says...

What a load of rubbish!! I have bad days at the office but go to work the next day and "get on with it". He is being paid an enormous amount of money to play rugby - a game!!!!
What he and the rest of the team need to do is go to a local pitch with my boy and his mates and learn how to catch the ball, pass properly, tackle, kick - I could go on.
What a load of rubbish!! I have bad days at the office but go to work the next day and "get on with it". He is being paid an enormous amount of money to play rugby - a game!!!! What he and the rest of the team need to do is go to a local pitch with my boy and his mates and learn how to catch the ball, pass properly, tackle, kick - I could go on. a465hov
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Keith Barnett says...

Good one Dai!
Bit like the paediatrician that was beaten up in Newport cos someone got confused with a paedophile!! (True story)
Anyways his psychologist isn't very good at his coaching for kicking
I suggest he has some one on one coaching and good man management, motivation by the coaches. In the meantime he needs to be rested. I would prefer to see Morgan from the Ospreys this weekend
Good one Dai! Bit like the paediatrician that was beaten up in Newport cos someone got confused with a paedophile!! (True story) Anyways his psychologist isn't very good at his coaching for kicking I suggest he has some one on one coaching and good man management, motivation by the coaches. In the meantime he needs to be rested. I would prefer to see Morgan from the Ospreys this weekend Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Dai the Milk says...

.......and we can't even spell the word correctly!
.......and we can't even spell the word correctly! Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Dai the Milk says...

Keith,

I would go for Hook myself but Morgan is definitely knocking on the door.
Keith, I would go for Hook myself but Morgan is definitely knocking on the door. Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

9:41am Tue 27 Nov 12

Keith Barnett says...

Hook hasn't been released
Hook hasn't been released Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Dai the Milk says...

Shocking. Who's his agent?
Shocking. Who's his agent? Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Keith Barnett says...

Rob Howley
Rob Howley Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

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