Tom Prydie enjoyed a Wales Under 20 debut to remember on Tuesday, the Test wing running in four of his side’s 19 tries in a 119-7 victory over their Japanese counterparts in Swansea.
Prydie won four caps in 2010 to become Wales’ youngest ever player and try scorer, but his first outing at Under 20 level showed he will be one to watch at the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 in South Africa from 4-22 June.
Coach Danny Wilson had labelled the match at St Helens as “a very important part” of Wales’ preparations for JWC 2012, where they will face four-time winners New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa in Pool A.
Wales kept the error count low and dominated possession against a Japanese team who struggled to handle the power of their hosts as they themselves build up to the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Salt Lake City, USA, next month.
It took only five minutes for wing Luke Morgan to cross for the first try and with Wales allowing Japan little of the ball with their passing game, the tries continued to flow with eight on the board by half time.
However, Japan, runners up in the Junior World Rugby Trophy for the last two years as they attempt to return to the JWC, to their credit refused to throw in the towel and were rewarded when wing Kentaro Kawahara touched down.
Prydie may have grabbed the headlines with his five-try performance, but one notable absentee among the try scorers was Harry Robinson, who was named in the Wales senior training squad for the Tests against the Barbarians and Australia next month.
Robinson, who has played for Wales on the HSBC Sevens World Series this season, played for the Under 20s at the request of the management team to get some valuable game time and could find himself bound for Australia not South Africa in June.
Luke Hamilton, Luke Morgan, Matthew Morgan, Ross Jones and Tom Pascoe all crossed for two tries in the victory with Sam Davies, Dan Baker, captain Kirby Myhill and Dan Thomas also getting in on the act.
“I am delighted by the way we stuck to our game plan and kept our shape. It was a clinical performance with some great tries which proved the level of potency we have in our backs,” said Wilson.
“To be fair to Japan they never gave up and provided us with the sort of workout we needed leading into a tough Junior World Championship group.”
VIDEO: Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Davies on their JWC memories