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Will Pryce set for NRL debut despite criticism from head coach

Huddersfield Giants Will Pryce

Former Huddersfield Giants man Will Pryce, son of Leon Pryce, is set to finally make his NRL debut for Newcastle Knights after months of being kept out of the side.

Leon Pryce, an England and Great Britain star, was a member of legendary Bradford Bulls and St Helens sides, and has 19 major trophies to his name, including four Super League titles and six Challenge Cup triumphs.

Will Pryce himself, meanwhile, burst on to the scene with Huddersfield in 2021, and has since represented the England Knights.

He played 17 games for the Giants in Super League last year, but is yet to make an NRL Premiership appearance in 2024, instead playing in the reserve-grade NSW Cup, scoring six tries and becoming the side’s kicker of choice.

Despite this, Knights head coach Adam O’Brien hasn’t seemed impressed with him so far.

A few weeks ago, legendary NRL half-back Andrew Johns called on O’Brien to hand Pryce a debut after a poor performance from Jack Cogger and former Wigan and Salford man Jackson Hastings, but he made no changes for the next game, saying:

“I don’t want to make any knee jerk reactions now, although I did change the spine up earlier in the year a few times.

“I think Will’s still learning the game out here to be honest. I don’t know how many games Joey has watched of NSW Cup, but he (Pryce) hasn’t had many back-to-back good ones.”

Will Pryce set for debut

At Wheldon Road, Castleford Tigers stadium - Sam Halsall, Matty English and Will Pryce stand for the national anthem.

Credit: Imago Images

It does, however, seem that he may have changed his mind following three losses on the bounce, most recently against Penrith Panthers.

The Mole has reported: “English recruit Will Pryce set to make his NRL debut for Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels this weekend.”

The team has now been announced and it does indeed see the former Huddersfield Giants man in the line-up with Will Pryce set to partner former Salford and Wigan star Jackson Hastings in the halves.

The Knights also have another Englishman in Kai Pearce-Paul featuring on the bench after missing out last time on account of a late withdrawal.

Pryce’s inclusion in the squad was confirmed by the club who released their team news and announced his impending start: “With his side fresh off their second bye, O’Brien has named Will Pryce to make his NRL debut, with the 21-year-old Englishmen set to become Knight #351.”

Reported Leigh Leopards transfer target David Armstrong doesn’t make the 17-man squad and is instead named on the extended bench.

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