Sport

Wales wing Adams continues meteoric rise

When Wales were sunk 29-21 by Australia last November, winger Josh Adams was just another Welsh fan left with his head in his hands at the Principality Stadium.

Josh Adams (L, pictured June 2018) from Wales has had a meteoric launch into international rugby having made his debut in the 2017 Six Nations
Josh Adams (L, pictured June 2018) from Wales has had a meteoric launch into international rugby having made his debut in the 2017 Six Nations (AFP)

When Wales were sunk 29-21 by Australia last November, winger Josh Adams was just another Welsh fan left with his head in his hands at the Principality Stadium.

The Worcester flyer has had a meteoric launch into international rugby and on Saturday the 23-year-old, who spent the 2016 season on-loan at third division English club Cinderford, will win his fifth cap having made his debut in last year's Six Nations.

In doing so, he also keeps vaunted Saracens rival Liam Williams, a British and Irish Lion and already scorer of two club hat-tricks this season, on the bench.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said Adams deserved another shot, having impressed on the summer tour when the Welsh team recorded wins over South Africa and Argentina, twice, as part of a current six-match winning streak.

"There are a few things to realise in terms of the consideration of the team," said Gatland, with Gareth Anscombe also retained at fly-half ahead of Dan Biggar.

"One, there is some continuity from last week and two, we wanted to reward the boys that toured in the summer.

"Josh had a particularly good tour and we wanted to give him another opportunity.

"We know the capabilities of Liam Williams and Josh getting an opportunity against a quality side like Australia gives us another chance to look at him.

"We've talked about creating depth and competition within the squad and that's why those guys have been picked in those positions."

Summer tour boost

Adams said he was delighted that more inexperienced players who toured in June were getting the chance to play.

"It's great to hear he (Gatland) thought that I went well in the summer," he said.

"As a tour it was positive, we created some depth with some inexperienced players playing, and off the back of that now, a few of us have had another opportunity in the autumn.

"I've got an opportunity this Saturday so the most important thing is to put my best foot forward."

Adams said Wales were pinpointing a seventh consecutive victory, albeit against an Australia side that is unbeaten by the Welsh in more than a dozen meetings over the last 10 years.

"Our record against Australia isn't the best, we haven't beaten them in 13 games and that's something we'll be looking to put right this weekend, for sure," he said.

On top of a run-out against the southern hemisphere team, Adams will also have to handle the formidable, free-running figure of Israel Folau.

"He's a top quality player, we know his threats, he's proven time and time again at international level how good he is," Adams said.

"It's going to be a test for me, but it's something I'm looking forward to. It's a good opportunity to see where I'm at playing against one of the world's best wingers."

Adams admitted that going from clutching a pint in the crowds a year ago to running out at the covered stadium in central Cardiff was "a little bit" surreal.

"I've put in the hard work behind the scenes playing for Worcester... and I have tried to improve on everything they've told me to."