Josh Adams: Wales wing swaps fans seat against launch site against Australia

Josh Adams: Wales wing swaps fans seat against launch site against Australia

Josh Adams played in both wins in Wales in June and scored in the second test

When Wales last played Australia, Josh Adams sat in the stands as a fan at the Principality Stadium.

If the two teams renew their rivalry on Saturday, he is in the thick of it – starting on the wing opposite the big Wallaby behind Israel Folau.

"It's a bit surreal," says Adams.

"Twelve months ago I saw it as a spectator and now I have a chance as a player and I'm looking forward to it."

It was a transformative year for Adams, who started it in a productive form for his club team Worcester, but for many followers of Welsh rugby was still under the radar.

The 23-year-old from Hendy near Llanelli, who had started his career with the Scarlets, was out of focus and had left Wales after he had not signed a contract with the region.

Adams joined Worcester in 2015 and after a hard training with a loan from a lower league club, Cinderford, he finally forced himself to go into the first team.

He took his chance and finished 2017 as the Premiership's top scorer. His reward was a place in the Welsh squad of this year's Six Nations, which began with the opening victory against Scotland.

"Obviously, with your first cap, a lot of emotions fly around nerves, excitement and so on," he says.

"Even if you drive to the game as a spectator, you can feel a little buzz because it's a special place when it's full.

"So I'm looking forward to it again, hopefully we can get the right result this weekend."

Saturday's game against Australia will put Adams home in Wales for the second time and fifth overall.

Two of those caps came on the summer tour of Argentina, where Wales won both games, with Adams scoring an excellent first try for his country in the second test.

This form has convinced Wales coach Warren Gatland to select Adams for the British and Irish Lion Liam Williams for the encounter with Australia.

"It's great to hear that he thought I went well in the summer," says Adams.

"I thought as a squad we had done really well in Argentina because we won two strong wins and the guys who played in Washington also beat South Africa."

"As a tour, it was a good thing, I think we got some depth with inexperienced guys, and afterwards, a few others had another chance this fall as well."

View of Folau

George North, who pulls up Israel Folau, was a lasting picture of winning the 2013 Lions Tour in Australia

After their opening win over Scotland last weekend, Wales' intensity will rise on Saturday when they play Australia.

The Wallabies have won the last 13 meetings between the two sides, a series of results dating back to 2008.

One of Welsh torturers in recent years has been Folau, an astonishingly skilful back who has played the majority of his test career as a full-back, spent some time in the center during the summer, but is on the right this weekend.

That hits him directly against Adams.

George North, on the other side of Wales, found a new way to fight Folau's threat on the Lions' winning Australia tour in 2013.

In fact, the Welshman was in possession when Folau tried to attack him, only to allow Wallaby of North to rise in the air, marching on his opponent like a backpack.

"I'm not nearly as tall as George, so I do not think I'll be wearing Israel Folau on my back this weekend," Adams says with a laugh.

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

"It will be a test for me, but I'm looking forward to it, it's a great opportunity to see where I am and play against one of the best winger in the world."

This will also be an impressive test for Wales as a collective.

Less than a year before the start of the World Cup, this is a good time to end the lost run against an Australian team that will compete in Japan next year.

"It has been very tight so many times and I just think there are small margins, maybe not the entire 80 minutes, maybe a loss of concentration in the last five minutes," says Adams.

"So it's a big emphasis on a big 80-minute performance this weekend, and I think the feeling in the area is good immediately.

"We've already had six wins on the go and a hit-out in the fall, of course we have to respect Australia – it's going to be a tough game without a doubt and I'm sure they'll be expecting it soon."

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