From stands to the pitch for Adams
LAST November, Josh Adams was among the 72,000 fans inside the Principality Stadium witnessing the Wallabies inflict a 13th straight defeat on Wales.
On Saturday, he will be one of 23 Welshmen desperately trying to avoid the run becoming 14.
The fact that 23-year-old from Hendy was a paying punter in Cardiff 12 months ago highlights the winger’s rapid progress in the international game.
A stunning season for Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership – he finished joint top tryscorer and was named in the endof-season dream team – saw him make his Test debut in the Six Nations opener against Scotland.
And on this evening, he will be back at the ground for another taste of international action in his first outing against one of the big guns from down south.
“It is a bit surreal when you think that 12 months ago I was watching this game as a spectator and now I’m getting an opportunity as a player,” said Adams ahead of his fifth cap for his country.
“As I’ve gone on in my three other caps I have felt more relaxed building into games. Obviously, with your first cap there’s a lot of feelings flying around, nerves, excitement. Even when you’re driving to the game as a spectator you can feel a bit of a buzz about it because it is a special place when it’s full.”
Adams was a shock inclusion in Gatland’s side that was named on Thursday, with the West Walian earning the nod over British and Irish Lion Liam Williams, who makes do with a place among the replacements.
It is reward for an impressive summer in Argentina, which included a superb solo try in the second Test victory over the Pumas in Santa Fe.
“Yeah. It’s great to hear he (Gatland) thought I went well in the summer,” added Adams. “I thought as a squad out there we did really well and as a tour, it was positive. I think we created some depth with inexperienced boys playing and, off the back of that now, a few of us have had another opportunity this autumn as well.”
So does he see this as a chance to stake his claim for a World Cup berth as the clock and games tick down towards Japan next September? “Every opportunity is a chance to stick your hand up, without a doubt, and I’m looking to do that on Saturday with a good performance,” he added. Inevitably, Adams is asked about his future. If he wants to continue to play for Wales after this season, he has to return across the Severn from Worcester.
“At the moment, I’m just concentrating on being here,” he adds. “You haven’t got much time to think about things when you’re getting run around the field.
“When it happens it happens.”