From stands to the pitch for Adams

South Wales Evening Post - - RUGBY -

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.”

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