Prydie handed shock Wales call-up

Ospreys teenager Tom Prydie has won a shock call-up to the Wales team for Saturday's RBS Six Nations Championship finale against Italy in Cardiff.

Wing Prydie, at just 18 years and 27 days, will become the youngest Welsh international player of all time.



Prydie replaces Cardiff Blues' Leigh Halfpenny as one of five changes from the side that crashed 27-12 defeat against triple crown-chasing Ireland three days ago.



Wales coach Warren Gatland welcomes back three fit-again British and Irish Lions in scrum-half Mike Phillips, prop Gethin Jenkins and skipper Ryan Jones, who replaces Gloucester's Gareth Delve.



And there is a first Six Nations start for 21-year-old Cardiff flanker Sam Warburton, who is preferred to 95-times capped veteran Martyn Williams.



Both Williams and scrum-half Richie Rees, who has been replaced by Phillips, failed to win a place on the bench as Wales look for a winning finish to what has been a hugely disappointing Six Nations campaign.



Wales coach Warren Gatland said of Prydie: "Tom has been with us for the duration of the campaign, he was one of two youngsters - brought in alongside Kristian Phillips - who we wanted to have a look at and we've been impressed with him.

"We heard some good things about him from his region and from the coaches at under 18 level and he has lived up to that, as has Kristian as well.



Prydie will break Cardiff player Norman Biggs' 112-year record and become Wales' youngest player by 24 days.



He also made history as the youngest player to play in Europe when - aged just 17 - he made his Heineken Cup bow in December for the Ospreys against Viadana.



"He is the fastest player in the squad, he can play at full back as well as on the wing and he is not afraid to tackle so we'll see how he goes," continued Gatland.



The previous youngest player in the 6 Nations before Prydie was Mathew Tait (England) two days before his 19th birthday.



Gatland explained: "We have an eye on the future as well with the selection of Sam Warburton in the back row, but both players come into the side alongside players who will also add experience and leadership.



"We are under no illusion that Italy will be a tough prospect on Saturday, we found it hard to break them down here two years ago and they have performed well in each game of the tournament so far and with a good win over Scotland under their belts we will be a target for them.



"We are all very disappointed and we need to demonstrate our passion and pride in the Welsh jersey on Saturday and show everyone what it means to us to play for our country."

Wales team to play Italy in RBS Six Nations Championship in Cardiff on Saturday:

L Byrne (Ospreys), T Prydie (Ospreys), J Hook (Ospreys), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Scarlets), M Phillips (Ospreys); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), M Rees (Scarlets), A Jones (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), L Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), J Thomas (Ospreys), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues), R Jones (Ospreys, capt).



Replacements: H Bennett (Ospreys), P James (Ospreys), I Gough (Ospreys), G Delve (Gloucester), D Peel (Sale Sharks), A Bishop (Ospreys), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues).



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee