Super League’s most marketable player? Will Pryce on his idols

Will Pryce with father Leon
Photo credit: Jack Wray / SWPix.com

Super League’s new poster boy Will Pryce admits the desire to emulate hero Sam Tomkins is fuelling the blistering start to his rugby league career.

The teenage Huddersfield ace will start his first full senior season at full-back for the Giants, having recovered from the ankle injury that marred a try-scoring England Knights debut in the autumn. 

His dozen-game cameo towards the end of last season brought rave reviews for the 19-year-old, who has promised to stay grounded under the guidance of his legend dad Leon.

And the youngster admits it is surreal to now be playing against the very same players he idolised as a boy, and who have already provided such mentorship through the start to his own professional career. 

“My dad is a big one, I went to watch every game he played since I can remember, same with my uncle Karl, we are quite a close family. They are my biggest idols,” Pryce told Love Rugby League.

“As I started to play myself at 10 or 11 it was players like Sam Tomkins who I am playing against now. It’s surreal that players I’ve watched and thought were brilliant like Sam I’m now playing against. 

“I like to watch and study people like Andrew Johns and Billy Slater to see how they became so great, and taking their traits and putting it to your own. I watch a lot of Sam since he played against my dad, and he is really good mates with my uncle. 

“He is someone I idolised growing up and the stuff he did last year was unplayable, nobody could really touch him. I try to imitate those players.”

Bringing excitement to Super League

Pryce’s senior performances so far have created a wave of excitement around his talent that dad Leon has promised to manage. 

And Leon is one of the best mentors Will could wish for. 

Having enjoyed a stunning playing career punctuated with off-field mistakes and controversies, Leon is perfectly-placed to guide his son through the potential pitfalls of a likely new-found fame. 

He has told us previously of his commitment to ensuring Will does not make the same mistakes but realises now is the time to allow Will to cut loose and become his own man.

Will already speaks like a young man who has taken some huge life lessons on board.

“I’m my own man, my own player,” he says.

“Huddersfield have a big squad but a tight-knit group and it feels like we have known each other a lot longer than we have. I’m really excited for how this season could go.

“I got chucked in at the deep end last season. But now I’ve had three months of pre-season and the new spine is teaching me things every day which is brilliant for my education as a player to grow.”

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