Scarlets and Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland has been added to a list of stars who are unable play in next month's three-Test series against South Africa, as numbers for an international series working towards next year's World Cup continue to dwindle.
The 27-year-old becomes the 10th player unavailable to coach Warren Gatland but only out of necessity, booked in for surgery on a knee injury that will keep him out until August, following the Scarlets 27-15 victory over Cardiff Blues.
Priestland joins captain Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Scott Williams and last years Lion of the series Leigh Halfpenny are also on the injury list, as Gatland looks to finalise his squad after the probables vs. possibles match on May 30.
Priestland started all of the Six Nations championship but his starting spot is now under threat from Osprey's Dan Biggar, who claimed the players player of the year award in the Pro12 last week.
Wales face a warm-up match against Eastern Province Kings on June 10 and then back-to-back Tests against the Springboks on June 14 and June 21.
With Priestland injured, Biggar will be favourite to start in the number 10 jersey, however Leicester's Owen Williams, who will be unable to participate in the all-Welsh match in Swansea due to English clubs stating that they will not release players for the match that falls outside the specified IRB window, will provide stiff opposition after a solid season in the Aviva Premiership.
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