Will Pryce ignoring NRL speculation as he prepares for England Knights debut

Will Pryce in action for Huddersfield

Will Pryce in action for Huddersfield

Teenage stand-off Will Pryce is brushing aside talk of going to the NRL as he looks to take another step forward in his burgeoning career by playing for England Knights.

The 18-year-old son of former Great Britain international Leon Pryce burst onto the scene in sensational fashion in 2021, playing in Huddersfield’s last 13 matches of the Super League season and catching the eye with his evasive running.His reward is a place in Paul Anderson’s team for Friday’s game against Jamaica at Castleford and a chance to impress England head coach Shaun Wane, who saw him close up at a joint training session with the seniors at Headingley on Tuesday morning.

Pryce said: “I was really buzzing when I got the call. I didn’t expect it to be honest, I was thinking more about the under-19s squad than the Knights.

“To get selected for this is really humbling. I’ve watched my dad play for England and it’s what everyone wants to do. To get that honour, I’m so grateful and I can’t wait.”

Friday’s game is part of Wane’s preparation for the World Cup in 12 months’ time but for Pryce the realistic target is more likely to be 2025.

Pryce added: “It’s definitely in my focus. We’ve spoken about that with Paul Anderson, Scully (Paul Sculthorpe) and Shaun Wane just at the end of the session there.

“He said that, if you show and prove to me that you’re worthy, in three or four years you’ll be selected and you’ll be playing.”

READ: Leon Pryce opens up on his struggles and won’t let son Will make the same mistakes

Loyal to the Giants

Pryce could be plying his trade in Australia by then after confirming interest from the NRL but insists his loyalty for the next three years is with Huddersfield.

He said: “There’s interest no matter what in anyone who’s playing well. Luckily, I had a good string of games but my future is with Huddersfield for the next couple of years.

“I want to try and win something with the boys we’ve got at Huddersfield and not focus on the long-term so much. I want to concentrate on getting regular first-team rugby.

“I’ve got an agent and my dad guides me so I don’t focus on all the interest. It’s rugby that does the best talking for you, that’s what will put me in the shop window.

“I signed at the start of this year for two more years through to the end of 2024.

“I’m just trying to crack on with my rugby. I’m not worrying about money or the long term, it’s more about getting opportunities like this.”

Will Pryce in action for Huddersfield
Pryce made 13 Super League appearances in 2021

Tough competition

Pryce, who got his chance with the Giants due to injuries to Aidan Sezer, Jack Cogger and Lee Gaskell, is expected to drop back down the pecking order in 2022 with the signing of experienced halves Tui Lolohea and Theo Fages, although the latter’s arrival from St Helens has yet to be confirmed.

That could mean providing competition for the full-back spot with Ashton Golding, one of two Huddersfield team-mates who will be playing for the opposition on Friday.

He said: “I’ve had talks about hopefully playing full-back next year and learning from Ashton. It’s about whatever is best for the team.”

As well as Golding, Pryce will go up against his club captain Michael “Bruno” Lawrence and he says the rivalry has already begun.

Pryce said: “My dad’s grandad is Jamaican so he could have qualified for them and unfortunately I just miss out there.

“A couple of years ago I might have thought about it but now I’m on the other side. The lads at Huddersfield were trying to drag me over to the dark side.

“I’m going to give Bruno some (stick), I’m gonna try to pester him and Ashton and see what I can get out of them! We’ll see what happens.”