Rhys Patchell admits that he has endured “a challenging year” ahead of his return to the Wales Test team.
Scarlets fly-half Patchell last started for his country on the 2018 summer tour to Argentina, when he kicked 20 points as Wales beat the Pumas 30-12 in Santa Fe.
Concussion issues and a torn hamstring then combined to disrupt the 26-year-old’s international career, suggesting he could have been up against it to make Wales’ 31-man World Cup squad.
But an impressive try-scoring display off the bench during a 22-17 loss to Ireland in Cardiff last weekend served as a reminder of his quality.
And he will head to Dublin today after being handed the number 10 shirt and securing a World Cup place alongside fellow fly-half Dan Biggar.
“It has been a challenging year, that’s for certain,” said Patchell.
“I won’t be looking back on it (last season) too many times.
““A couple of concussions were tough to deal with, and tearing a hamstring was not ideal. It stuttered any momentum I was trying to pick up during the season.
“Game one I was concussed, came back, started finding a bit of rhythm and got concussed again.
“I came back, tear my hamstring and you are forever chasing your tail. It is what it is and we are where we are.” Patchell effectively faced a straight fight with Jarrod Evans for one World Cup berth, and they each had a final 40-minute audition .
And it was Patchell who won the coaches’ vote.
Meanwhile controversial proposals to downgrade the severity of red cards have been vetoed by the four home unions
England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland rejected out of hand suggestions to alter the punishment meted out for red cards in time for the World Cup, that kicks off in Japan on September 20.
World Rugby is understood to have held a conference call with top figures across the game where plans to dilute red card sanctions were seriously discussed.
Some of the game’s top decision-makers weighed up allowing a player awarded a red card to be dismissed — but then be replaced by a substitute 15 minutes later.
That radical alteration would have left teams receiving red cards playing with 14 men for just five minutes longer than a yellow card sin-binning, then being restored to a full complement.
World Rugby has eventually implemented a new procedure where the Television Match Official (TMO) must now be consulted over all potential red-card decisions.
World Rugby confirmed that protocol amendment on August 30, which will now be in effect for the World Cup.