rhys patchell

When did you first play at fly-half?

I was a full-back until I was in the Blues South U16 squad and then, because Cory Allen was being picked ahead of me, the coaches asked if I fancied a shot at ten.

Have you always been a goalkicker?

Yes. When I watched rugby on TV the kickers were always contributing so I wanted to do it, but I don’t relish the limelight. I don’t see why I get so much attention for kicking the points when you’re just doing your job, like the 14 others.

Who’s had the biggest influence on you?

My teacher at Glantaf, Dai Williams. For two years the Blues didn’t consider me good enough at the U18 age group, but he canvassed on my behalf and got me a trial.

You played in the Sevens World Series last year, what was that like?

It was a great learning experience, travelling round the world at 18. I was facing people I’d watched on TV. I was in a lift when DJ Forbes got in and I thought, ‘I’ve got to play you tomorrow’.

Are you surprised to be playing so much Blues first-team rugby?

Yes, but in pre-season Phil Davies said if you put your head down and impress the coaches, you’d be picked on merit. It was a big gamble for him to throw me into a derby against the Dragons for my first start. Now I want to improve every week and cement my place.

RW Verdict: He’s only 19 but Patchell has the skills for the pro game and the potential to go far. Stuart Barnes agrees – see page 52.

This was published in the February 2013 issue of Rugby World. Click here to see what’s in the current edition.