9 October 1981|
Bradford, Yorkshire, England
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||15 st 13 lb (101 kg)|
Leon Pryce (born 9 October 1981 in Bradford) is an English former professional rugby league footballer who most recently played for the Bradford Bulls. A Great Britain and England international representative backline player, he previously played for St. Helens, with whom he had Challenge Cup, and Super League Championship success, the Catalans Dragons, and Hull F.C.. He is a product of the Bradford Bulls Academy system.
Of Jamaican descent, Pryce comes from a family of rugby league players; he is the older brother of Bradford Bulls player Karl Pryce, his father and uncle both played the sport at a high level. His cousin Steve Pryce has coached in Jamaica, and he is also the cousin of Featherstone Rovers player Waine Pryce.
At age 16, Pryce captained the England schools side. Pryce came through the academy ranks at Bradford Bulls, after the club signed him from amateur side Queensbury in Bradford. Pryce played for Bradford on the wing in the 1999 Super League Grand Final which was lost to St. Helens. He made his full début for England against France in 1999, and has also represented his home county of Yorkshire.
Pryce played for Bradford on the wing in their 2001 Super League Grand Final victory against the Wigan. As Super League VI champions, Bradford played against 2001 NRL Premiers, the Newcastle Knights in the 2002 World Club Challenge. Pryce was selected for the substitutes bench in Bradford's victory. Later that year Pryce played for Bradford from the substitutes bench in their 2002 Super League Grand Final loss against St. Helens.
In 2003, Pryce received 120 hours community service for unlawful wounding, after attacking former Bulls' fitness conditioner Eddie McGuinness with a glass. He played for Bradford from the substitutes bench in their 2003 Super League Grand Final victory against the Wigan. Having won Super League VIII, Bradford played against 2003 NRL Premiers, Penrith Panthers in the 2004 World Club Challenge. Pryce played at stand-off half back and scored a try in Bradford's 22–4 victory. He played for Bradford on the wing and scored a try in their 2005 Super League Grand Final victory against Leeds, winning the Harry Sunderland Award for a Man of the Match performance.
After Bradford did not renew his contract in 2005, in 2006 Pryce joined St. Helens. One of the key issues in the decision was that he would start at stand off, a position Pryce has long coveted.
Pryce won his first trophy with St Helens in August 2006, defeating Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup Final at Twickenham. St Helens reached the 2006 Super League Grand final to be contested against Hull F.C., and Pryce played at stand-off half back, scoring a try in Saints' 26–4 victory. As 2006 Super League champions, St Helens faced 2006 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Pryce played at stand-off half back in the Saints' 18–14 victory. He went on to win the Challenge Cup again in 2007 when Saints beat Catalans Dragons 30–8 at Wembley Stadium. He was a joint winner of the Lance Todd Trophy along with Paul Wellens.
In July 2007, Pryce was accused of squeezing Sam Burgess' testicles. He was later found guilty of the incident and banned for three matches. That year he was voted rugby league's dirtiest player by RL Weekly readers.
He was again found guilty of a similar misconduct, against Bradford forward Andy Lynch on 22 February 2008. However, he escaped a possible eight-match ban as the disciplinary panel ruled the contact "minimal".
His success at the club continued as he helped Saints to a 26–18 win over Hull in the 2008 Challenge Cup Final. He was named in the England squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. He was named in the Super League Dream Team for the 2008's Super League XIII season. He played in 2008's Super League XIII Grand Final defeat by Leeds. Pryce went with the England squad to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament in Australia. In Group A's first match against Papua New Guinea he played at stand-off half back in England's victory.
In 2008 Pryce was charged and appeared in court alongside Stuart Reardon on charges of assault and violence following an alleged incident at Reardon's estranged wife's house in Queensbury, Bradford. They were charged with using violence to gain entry and common assault. The charge of using violence to gain entry against both defendants was dropped after the prosecution offered no evidence. In March 2009, having been found guilty of common assault, the pair were given a 12-week suspended sentence.
He also played in the 2009 Super League Grand Final defeat by Leeds.
After being released by St Helens in 2011, Pryce signed for the Perpignan based Catalans Dragons for the 2012 season. The Stand-off made his début against Castleford Tigers in a 28-20 victory and was named Man of the Match. He went on to play 80 times for the French side and scored a total of 20 tries in the three seasons he spent at the club.
Pryce signed for Hull in 2015. In 2016 he was part of the team that won the Challenge Cup at Wembley for the first time. At the end of the 2016 season, Pryce announced his departure from Hull after two seasons and 38 appearances.
Pryce re-signed for his hometown club Bradford ahead of the 2017 season however the Bulls were liquidated in January 2017 casting doubt over Pryces playing future. A new club was formed soon after the old club was liquidated which Pryce signed for. The new club was kept in the Championship but started on -12 points. After just 11 games Pryce announced his immediate retirement after a poor start to the season and fans booing his and the team's performance.
After Pryce retired he set up his own player agency.
- Super League (4): 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006
- World Club Challenge (3): 2002, 2004, 2007
- League Leader's Shield (6): 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008
- Challenge Cup (6): 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2016
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- Wilson, Andy (26 February 2008). "Repeat offender Pryce relieved not to bag a lengthy ban". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
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- "2008 Grand Final". BBC. 4 October 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- "Leon Pryce lands coaching job at Workington". Telegraph & Argus. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.