Wales v Fiji: Coach Shaun Edwards criticises Welsh boo-boys

Shaun Edwards
Shaun Edwards worked alongside Wales head coach Warren Gatland at London Wasps
Autumn internationals: Wales v Fiji
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 15 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 14:00 GMT; live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles.

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards has criticised fans who booed Rhys Priestland during the defeat by Australia.

Scarlets fly-half Priestland was jeered after coming on for Dan Biggar during the 33-28 loss.

Edwards has joined Wales head coach Warren Gatland in defending Priestland, who will start against Fiji on Saturday.

"You boo one of us, you boo all of us," Edwards said.

"If you boo Rhys Priestland, you boo myself, you boo Warren Gatland, you boo the Welsh jersey."

Priestland has had issues with his confidence in the past, seeking the help of sport psychiatrist Andy McCann in 2012 after struggling for form and fitness.

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Rhys Priestland confident ahead of Wales' match against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium.

The fly-half suspended his Twitter account as a result of abuse he received from fans, which Gatland says almost prompted Priestland to retire.

The 27-year-old was targeted again against the Wallabies, and Edwards has called on the Millennium Stadium crowd to rally behind Priestland when Wales face Fiji.

"It's important to remember most of the crowd is behind us," said Edwards.

"We've tried to wear that shirt with a lot of pride and, for someone to boo that shirt, I'm not very happy about it.

"Any people who are around those people in a big crowd who have the bottle or are silly enough to do it again, I would like to think the rest of the crowd would let them know what they think about them."

The booing of kickers has also been a topic of debate lately, and Edwards is similarly unequivocal as he is about the jeering of players.

"Personally I don't think they should do it," said Edwards.

"Rugby is a dignified game. All the aggression comes out on the pitch and not from the crowd."

WALES TEAM V FIJI

Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, capt), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Dan Lydiate (unattached), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys).

Replacements: Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), James King (Ospreys), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), James Hook (Gloucester), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues).

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