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Welsh international Patchell tearing it up for the Highlanders in Super Rugby

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Friday Mar 1, 2024

Welsh international Rhys Patchell surprised many when he announced that he would be departing Welsh Rugby to join the New Zealand Super Rugby franchise, the Highlanders.

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Following the retirement of several experienced Welsh internationals over the past year, the 30-year-old Patchell would seemingly have been a viable option for Warren Gatland’s Six Nations squad in 2024.

Thus, his move to New Zealand initially appeared to be coming out at a peculiar time.

However, if the first two rounds of Super Rugby Pacific are anything to go by, the former Cardiff and Scarlets playmaker appears to have been invigorated by the move.

Putting in two exceptional performances, Patchell is playing with a freedom that displays his full skillset alongside some exciting up-and-coming Kiwi talent.

In round one, his long looping pass did the rounds online as one of the best bits of skill from the opening round.

 

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A week later and Patchell took it up a notch as he pulled off some outlandish moments of skill against the Blues in Melbourne.

Starting with an around-the-back offload that Sonny-Bill Williams would’ve been proud of, Patchell backed this up with a try of his own before putting in a deft grubber to get the Highlanders their final score.

Signed for just this season, the 22-times capped Welshman could make his way back to WelshRugby later this year. Should he do so he would be available for Wales’s test matches against the Wallabies in Australia.

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