Wales international starts new life 12,000 miles away and is blown away after halting international career

The 30-year-old is enjoying a different way of rugby life

Wales player Rhys Patchell, who was astounded by his new teammates’ assiduity, thinks he has had a “brilliant” start to life in New Zealand.

After departing the Scarlets at the end of the previous season, the 22-cap international left Welsh rugby in July and joined the Highlanders for the next Super Rugby season. In a recent reunion with former Scarlets manager Brad Mooar and new Crusaders signing Leigh Halfpenny, Patchell was observing how life was going down there, and he says he has liked what he has seen so far.

The fly-half is eager to get going even though the team is still in pre-season and the new season doesn’t start until February. He has been greatly pleased by the attitude of his new club.Subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter to receive the most recent Welsh rugby news delivered right to your inbox.

Patchell disclosed the phone conversation he had with coach Clarke Dermody prior to signing, saying, “There’s a cool thing being built here and to be a part of it is pretty exciting.” “When he explained what they were looking for, the type of game they were looking to play – I thought to myself: ‘That spins my wheels’,” he continued. “It’s been brilliant so far.”

The 30-year-old claimed he was inspired to play rugby in “a completely different way” and that he has adapted to his new team’s offensive approach. He also commended the amount of work that goes into the game both on and off the field.

“It’s a great thing that everyone here views the game differently than I do,” he remarked. “There’s a genuine…as opposed to ‘let’s just toss the ball around and see what happens, carefree attitude.'” That isn’t the case, yet there has been a noticeable change in perspective. When an opportunity arises, everything that needs to be done is nearly instantly recognized and carried out.

Naturally, Patchell’s “dream” of playing for Wales had to go when he moved to New Zealand, as he was only three caps shy of being able to play overseas for his country. Although he acknowledged that playing for his country was “important,” he also stated that, as a player, he wanted to travel the world more, having previously watched players like Jamie Roberts, Halfpenny, and Dan Lydiate attempt their luck overseas.

He continued, “I’ve always respected the players who had the guts to try something new.” “Welsh rugby and the red jersey can capture our attention, but rugby is also a means of exploring the world.”

In the interview, Patchell talked candidly about the “frustration” he and others had at the beginning of the year when the “unravelling” circumstances in Welsh rugby drove players to the verge of going on strike. Despite the cut budgets, he predicted a “tough couple of years” for the Welsh regions. Nevertheless, he concluded with some positive remarks.

He stated, “We either see that as a challenge to the Welsh rugby fraternity or we see it as a chance to say, ‘This is our chance.'” We will need to support the younger players. It will be necessary for us to raise them. We will need to take care of them.

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