Friends turn foes as Dragons wing Tom Prydie relishes clash with Ospreys ace Eli Walker
8:02am Friday 25th October 2013 in Sport
TOM Prydie and Eli Walker used to cause mayhem on the wings for Swansea but tonight they will go head to head at the Liberty Stadium.
Prydie will don the Newport Gwent Dragons number 14 jersey this evening while Walker will have 11 on his back for the Ospreys.
The 21-year-old came through the ranks together at the Ospreys and joined forces on the fast track at St Helen’s in the Premiership.
Prydie’s rise was more rapid than his pal’s – he became the youngest player in Heinenek Cup history at 17 years, 292 days and then Wales’ youngest international.
But now it’s Walker who is tipped for the big time after being named by Warren Gatland in the squad for the autumn internationals.
Prydie increased his tally of caps to five against Japan this summer and is pleased that his former teammate could soon join him on the Millennium Stadium honours board.
“I played with Eli all through age-grade rugby and with Swansea,” said Prydie. “He’s a great player and I am happy for him that he was named in the Wales squad this week.
“He was unlucky in the summer when he had to pull out of the Japan tour with a back injury but he is playing really well and deserves his chance.”
Prydie found chances hard to come by at the Ospreys and made just 11 more appearances following his European bow against Viadana.
He has benefited from playing regular rugby after deciding to move to the Dragons and is relishing the chance to show his progression at a ground where he appeared just four times.
“I didn’t play in the game last year so it’s my first time back and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“You can’t beat the surface down at the Liberty Stadium and hopefully it will be a good spectacle with the ball chucjed around a bit.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge down there but the season’s gone well for us so far and we have been performing a lot better.
“Derby games are great to be involved in and hopefully this will similar to our win against the Scarlets, which was a brilliant game.”
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