Tom Prydie: Wales' youngest international credits Scarlets for Test recall

Wales winger Tom Prydie (r) is congratulated after scoring in the corner during the International Friendly match between Wales and South Africa at Millennium Stadium on June 5, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales

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Wales’ youngest international Tom Prydie credits Scarlets’ “world-class players and coaches” for reigniting his international career.

The 26-year-old wing’s Test debut came against Italy in the 2010 Six Nations, when he was aged 18 years and 25 days.

Injuries and the rise of stars such as George North, Liam Williams and Alex Cuthbert saw Prydie become a forgotten figure in Welsh rugby.

But last week he was recalled in the 31-man squad for Wales’ summer tour.

Having been hailed as the successor to Shane Williams, the last of Prydie’s five Wales caps came on the 2013 summer tour to Japan while North and Cuthbert were starring for the British and Irish Lions in Australia.

Also a capable goal-kicker and full-back, Prydie began his senior career with Ospreys in 2009, having been fast-tracked through the academy system.

He had a brief loan spell with Wasps before moving to the then Newport Gwent Dragons in 2012, spending five seasons there before signing for Scarlets after their 2016-17 Pro12-winning season.

That move was made with the aim of finding his way out of the international wilderness and Prydie is now set to tour South Africa and Argentina after being recalled by Warren Gatland.

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Prydie, who has scored seven tries for Scarlets, said: “It was a bit of a surprise. I think I found out a bit later than everyone else, but obviously I’m delighted to be selected.

“It’s a credit to the coaches here and the environment I’m in. I’m really enjoying coming to training, learning off world-class players and coaches as well. Being in a competitive environment has really helped a lot.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for me. It was a good few years ago now when I was last involved in a camp.

“I’m grateful for it and hopefully I can repay the favour to Warren and the team, and go well on the summer tour.

“It’s a huge privilege to be selected for Wales and when you get picked it’s a confidence boost as well.”

Wales head coach Gatland said Prydie had been “unlucky with injuries”, and despite younger players like Cardiff Blues’ Owen Lane knocking on the international door, he “did not want to throw him on the scrapheap”.

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Before the summer tour, Prydie aims to help Scarlets defend their league title as they visit Glasgow in the Pro14 semi-finals on Friday, hoping to face Leinster or Munster in the final.

Prydie was not expected to feature again this season after injuring his ankle in their defeat by Leinster in February.

He had surgery and made his comeback in the Pro14 quarter-final win against Cheetahs on 5 May, when he scored one of Scarlets’ five tries.

Prydie added: “The rehab was going well and I had my eye on the Dragons fixture on Judgement Day, but having spoken to Wayne and the coaches, they thought it would be wiser to try and hold off until the Cheetahs.”

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