Rhys Priestland hopes Wales coaches stay put

Rob Howley and Rhys Priestland
Rob Howley talks tactics with Rhys Priestland during the World Cup

Rhys Priestland is hoping Wales can keep their coaching staff together for the next Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Head coach Warren Gatland has committed himself until 2015 after guiding Wales to fourth place in the 2011 World Cup.

But there is still uncertainty over the futures of his assistants Shaun Edwards, Rob Howley and Robin McBryde.

"Hopefully we can keep everyone together because it has been there and thereabouts for a while," said fly-half Priestland.

"[In the past] we haven't taken our chances and maybe we have become a bit more clinical recently.

"It has been brewing for a while I think and we are starting to see the fruits of the hard work they have been doing over the past four years."

Atack coach Howley, defence coach Edwards and forwards coach McBryde's contracts ended as Wales returned from New Zealand.

Howley wants to remain part of the Wales coaching staff although he has been linked with posts at Cardiff Blues and Bath.

Edwards' future is uncertain at club and Test level.

Like Howley, Edwards has been linked with possible roles at Cardiff Blues.

Edwards has combined being head coach at Wasps with his Wales role, while McBryde has a similar arrangement with the Scarlets.

Priestland believes that keeping Edwards is crucuial as Wales build to the next World Cup.

"He [Edwards] analyses the opposition really well and you know what they are going to do before they actually do it so he has been for all the boys," said the Scarlets fly-half.

"He brings s a lot of enthusiasm to the defensive side of things and he has made us realise a good defence can win you championships."

Priestland has definitely benefitted from Wales' coaching staff over the past two months and became the number one fly-half during the World Cup.

Injuries to Stephen Jones and James Hook before the trip to New Zealand saw Priestland promoted to the number 10 slot.

His performance helped Wales beat Ireland 22-10 in the quarter-final but he was ruled out of the semi-final defeat against France and the Bronze match loss against Australia with a shoulder injury.

Priestland is expected to be out until the Scarlets open their Heineken Cup campaign at home to Castres on 12 November.

Full interview with Rhys Priestland on Sport Wales BBC Two Wales on Friday 2100 BST