Rhys Patchell: Wales start against New Zealand caps whirlwind week

Rhys Patchell
Rhys Patchell came on at inside centre during Wales' 40-7 defeat by the Chiefs on Tuesday
New Zealand v Wales (second Test)
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington Date: Saturday, 18 June 2016 Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport app, Connected TV, and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Rhys Patchell says he has had a "whirlwind few days" after being named full-back in Wales' team to play world champions New Zealand on Saturday.

The Scarlet arrived in the country on Monday after interrupting a holiday, before coming off the bench in Tuesday's 40-7 loss to the Chiefs.

He replaces the injured George North, with Liam Williams moving to the wing.

"I've been asked to do a job on the weekend and hopefully I'll be able to do it," said Patchell.

"It's been a bit of a whirlwind few days, but I'm looking forward to the challenge on the weekend.

"It's a really exciting thing to look forward to and I'm sure Saturday night will be bouncing and it will be a great atmosphere to play in front of."

Wales, beaten 39-21 by New Zealand at Eden Park, are looking for a first win over the All Blacks since 1953.

Wales' summer fixtures:
11 June: New Zealand 39-21 Wales (Auckland)
14 June: Chiefs 40-7 Wales (Hamilton)
18 June: New Zealand (Wellington)
25 June: New Zealand (Dunedin)

Patchell, 23, trained with the Wales squad before the defeat by England at the end of May, but was not included in the initial tour squad.

But injuries to North and Gareth Anscombe (hip) meant former Cardiff Blues back Patchell was given the call from the Wales camp while on holiday in north Wales.

"This Saturday, I wasn't meant to be doing much, probably watching the game," he said.

"I was actually driving to north Wales with my housemates when I got a phone call telling me I'd probably be required, but thought that I'd be flying on Sunday.

"And then I got a phone call when we were on the first tee at the golf club, saying can you leave the boys in north Wales.

"So I left my two housemates stranded on the first tee, jumped in the car and drove back to Cardiff."

Rhys Patchell
Rhys Patchell (R) made his Wales debut against Japan in 2013

It is the first time Wales coach Warren Gatland has picked Patchell, with his previous two caps coming on the 2013 tour to Japan when Robin McBryde and Shaun Edwards were in caretaker charge.

Patchell is glad to be part of the camp again having missed out on previous Wales squads.

"I'm very, very fortunate that it has come around," he said.

"Injuries put me out of a couple of them and for whatever reason - form, selection - I didn't quite become a consistent member of the squad as I'd hoped I would.

"It's a great opportunity to be back here."

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Wings Tom James and Eli Walker started against the Chiefs, but Gatland said his fringe players missed a chance to impress in Hamilton with Patchell subsequently getting the nod for Saturday's game in Wellington.

"He was potentially unlucky not to be on the tour in the first place and we watched him play 15 for the Blues on a number of occasions and we've been impressed with him," said Gatland of Patchell.

"He's quick, he's got a big boot on him and we think he can do a job for us.

"He brings a physical element, he's an intelligent rugby player and he's pretty excited about the opportunity."

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