Huddersfield Giants utility Will Pryce was set to be included in Shaun Wane’s England squad for the autumn test series against Tonga before injury forced him to withdraw, Love Rugby League can reveal.
Pryce – who is heading for the NRL next season after agreeing a deal with Newcastle Knights – was set to win his first test call-up for the three-match series against Kristian Woolf’s side over the next month after catching Wane’s eye during the final weeks of the Super League campaign.
The 20-year-old would have offered options at both full-back and half-back for Shaun Wane’s side, particularly given the absence of captain George Williams for the opening two tests of the series.
Love Rugby League understands Pryce was set to make the cut in Wane’s 24-man squad and had even been informed he was set to win a first senior international call-up, before having to pull out.
Pryce has been battling a foot injury in the final weeks of the Super League season and ultimately had to withdraw from contention this autumn to give the injury time to settle and heal before he relocates to Australia to begin his career with the Knights.
He has fluctuated between half-back and full-back since making his senior debut for Huddersfield in 2021, but spent the majority of this season playing in the number one role.
He would have provided direct competition for Jack Welsby in the national squad this autumn – or potentially allowed Welsby to move to half-back, a role he played in last year’s World Cup, freeing up Pryce to start at full-back for England.
However, he will now have to wait for another chance to earn his first test cap after injury ruled him out of this autumn’s internationals.
Will Pryce’s new Knights team-mate Kai Pearce-Paul also nursing a knock
Ironically, his future team-mate at Newcastle in 2024, Kai Pearce-Paul, is another player who has had to withdraw from contention due to an injury of his own.
Pearce-Paul was one of four current Super League stars omitted by Wane through injury, as the head coach confirmed in yesterday’s pre-series press conference.