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Phil Bennett: Owen Williams leads for No.10 shirt in South Africa

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

Phil Bennett says Owen Williams is ahead of Rhys Priestland in the race for the Wales No. 10 shirt.

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PHIL Bennett believes Owen Williams has nudged ahead in the race to wear the Wales No. 10 jersey in South Africa this summer.

Rhys Priestland endured a difficult afternoon with the Scarlets at the Millennium Stadium against the Blues, while Dan Biggar was part of an Ospreys side that made heavy weather of seeing off the Dragons.

And Bennett reckons former Scarlet Williams, who used to be part of the Ospreys' age-grade set-up, is now at the front of the queue to play fly-half in the Tests.

"Without playing (Williams) overtakes them because he's playing so well in the Aviva," he said. Williams is keeping Toby Flood out of Leicester's side and helped the Tigers reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

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Priestland did score a try against the Blues but he also missed a conversion from dead in front and was replaced by Steve Shingler with 20 minutes to play.

"Rhys Priestland is such a talent," said Bennett. "But you've got to realise they are not kids anymore. We are talking about men who are earning good money playing for teams they want to play for and I think Rhys would be disappointed with his performance.

"Really at the end of the day Rhys Priestland has to say to himself: 'I've got to toughen up. I've got to be stronger. I want to run the game. I'm number 10. I'm the one who'll decide how the game is run'. I looked at him when he was subbed and he was crestfallen. He was devastated."

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