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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Tom Prydie could become Wales' youngest cap


Prydie 'amazed' by Wales call-up

Ospreys and Swansea 17-year-old wing Tom Prydie will become the youngest Welsh international if he plays any part in the forthcoming Six Nations.

And Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins says no-one should be shocked should he and Neath wing Kristian Phillips, 19, make debuts during the tournament.

The Wales kicking coach said: "James Hook came from Neath and played for Wales against Argentina in Argentina.

"That's just as hard, probably, as playing any Six Nations game."

Jenkins points out Hook's debut against the Pumas came in June 2006, having emerged from Welsh Premiership club Neath's ranks in the domestic season just ended.

"So it does happen," said Jenkins. "Players are more than capable of doing that and these boys [Prydie and Phillips] are very talented."

But Ospreys utility back Hook made his debut 16 days before his 21st birthday.

In Prydie's case, if he were to face Italy in Wales' final Six Nations game on 23 March at the Millennium Stadium he would be 18 years and 24 days.

That would make Prydie the youngest Welsh player by 25 days.

The record books show Wales' youngest player was Norman Biggs, who made his Wales debut aged 18 years and 49 days in 1888 against New Zealand Natives.

Neath wing Phillips, 19, has made seven Ospreys appearances, having made his debut in 2008 at the age of 17.

Phillips won December's Premiership Player of the Month award for his blistering form after scoring against Llandovery and Aberavon before a five-try rout against Pontypool.

Prydie, meanwhile, made Heineken Cup history when he made his European bow in December for the Liberty Stadium region aged just 17 in their win over Viadana.

"You must have something about you to be picked at 17 in an environment like that with the wingers that they've got," said Jenkins.


"I think everyone in the squad has got an opportunity and those two are the same.

"Tom is similar to Kristian. He's going to be very quick, pretty elusive. Again, when you've got gas like that you've got to use it.

"He's very good with ball in hand, a young kid, probably defensively he's pretty good, but obviously he can keep improving and he's a pretty good kicker as well.

"So exciting players, both of them. They like to play with the ball in hand, like to run - typical Welsh players, if you like.

"Kristian's been pretty impressive for Neath, scoring a lot of tries and likes to back his pace as well.

Archive - Five-star Kristian Phillips

"But when he was younger has played at centre, played at outside half as well.

"So he's played in a lot of positions in the back line and knows the game pretty well so I'm looking forward to seeing him come in and enjoy training with us."

Phillips suffered two shoulder dislocations the season after making his Ospreys debut, knocking back his progress.

"Kristian is a very good player. He's come back from a few injuries, serious injuries, and he just seems to get better and better," added Jenkins.

"It will give them a taste, hopefully, of what's to come for them when they get selected in the future

"But who knows? They might stand out so much that they could be involved."

Wales have issues on the wing as Mark Jones is sidelined by a knee injury and Tom James is still considered raw alongside experienced Welsh record try-scorer Shane Williams.

Leigh Halfpenny is also in the back-three mix completed by Lee Byrne.

Ospreys star Williams, who is 33 next month, has only recently returned from a hamstring tear and has only played two minutes of rugby since sustaining his injury in Wales' final autumn series defeat to Australia.

Wales' 35-man Six Nations squad:

Backs: Gareth Cooper, Leigh Halfpenny, Tom James, Richard Rees, Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin (all Cardiff Blues) Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Lee Byrne, James Hook, Kristian Phillips, Tom Prydie, Shane Williams (all Ospreys), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Martin Roberts (all Scarlets)

Forwards: Bradley Davies, Gethin Jenkins, Deiniol Jones, Andy Powell, Sam Warburton, Gareth Williams, Martyn Williams (all Cardiff Blues), Huw Bennett, Ian Gough, Paul James, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Jonathan Thomas (all Ospreys), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate (both Dragons), Eifion Lewis-Roberts (Sale Sharks), Rhys Gill (Saracens)

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see also
Wales leave out Phillips and Peel
19 Jan 10 |  Welsh
Halfpenny needs shoulder surgery
18 Jan 10 |  Cardiff Blues
England suffer Croft injury blow
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Wales hooker Rees set to return
06 Jan 10 |  Scarlets
Jones injury is minor - Scarlets
04 Jan 10 |  Welsh
Prop Jones ruled out for season
13 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Wing Phillips out for the season
09 Mar 09 |  Ospreys
Ospreys hope on young Phillips
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