‘JOSH’S PLACE UNDER THREAT’
SHANE Williams believes Wales will have to sideline a pillar of their Six Nations Grand Slam to give Liam Williams a licence to thrill in the World Cup this autumn.
Josh Adams was an influential figure in the Six Nations clean sweep, playing in all five wins and helping himself to tries against Italy, England and Scotland.
His performances put the former Worcester Warrior, who will join Cardiff Blues for the coming season, on the shortlist for the Six Nations player of 2019, which was won by Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones.
The 24-year-old Hendy product grabbed his Six Nations opportunity with both hands after Saracens star Liam Williams switched to the fullback berth with Scarlets full-back Leigh Halfpenny on the sidelines with concussion issues.
With Halfpenny now back fit, Wales’s record try-scorer Williams says coach Warren Gatland must make a “harsh” call and bring the Scarlets No. 15 back into the starting XV at the expense of Adams.
And Williams is adamant the move would provide the platform for Liam Williams to star on the global stage out wide.
In his column for the Rugby Paper, Williams said: “Liam Williams can now rightly lay claim to being one of the best players in the world, but the question is whether Wales stick or twist with their Premiership and Champions Cup winner for the World Cup.
“It will prove crucial to their chances of success in Japan.
“He has been absolutely sensational for Wales this season. He has played predominantly at full-back for the national side with Leigh Halfpenny on the sidelines due to concussion, but now Leigh is back fit Warren Gatland faces an absolutely crucial decision.
“Wales’s first-choice back three when everyone is fit is Leigh at fullback, with Liam and George North on the wings.
“That’s incredibly harsh on Josh Adams, who has been nothing short of sensational since coming into the international set-up and was superb in the Six Nations.
“My message to Wales is to give Liam a free role for the World Cup. A licence to roam from the wing could see Liam tear up Japan and announce himself further on the global stage.
“If Wales are to win the World Cup it is more than likely we may have to beat the best team in the world and in my opinion Liam holds the key.”