Josh Adams has taken Test rugby by storm in the last 12 months – but he says there are “loads of places” for improvement.
The Cardiff Blues wing will be a key part of Wales’ bid for a 15th successive victory when they tackle World Cup warm-up opponents England at Twickenham on Sunday.
It is just 168 days since Adams scored a stunning match-clinching try that downed Eddie Jones’ team in Cardiff, soaring above England full-back Elliot Daly to catch Dan Biggar’s kick and swivelling in mid-air before touching down.
He followed it up by dazzling Scotland’s defence and claiming another memorable try a fortnight later as Wales marched towards a Six Nations title and Grand Slam glory.
Such has been 24-year-old Adams’ impact since making his international debut in February last year that he is now arguably among the first names on head coach Warren Gatland’s team sheet.
But he said: “I can’t say I am an established member of the Wales team yet.
Alun Wyn Jones will become his country's most capped rugby player of all time on Sunday when he leads the team against England at Twickenham 🏴 Gêm nodedig i'r capten wrth iddo arwain tîm profiadol yn erbyn Lloegr. #HWFN pic.twitter.com/wJJJsg015e— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) August 9, 2019
“I feel a lot more relaxed in the environment and I feel a lot more comfortable with the training. I am definitely up to speed with all of that.
“But the minute you think you are established and you put your feet under the table, that is the time you can fall off.
“Being relatively new to the squad, I know I’ve got to keep on improving and getting better. There are loads of places I can improve, and I am determined to be here for a while.
“Everyone in the (Wales squad) back three has trained exceptionally well.
“Leigh Halfpenny has come back to fitness and is an outstanding player with loads of experience. Then you’ve got Owen Lane, who has shown what he’s got to offer, Steff Evans as well. I could go on through all of them.
“We are pushing each other. It is friendly rivalry, and it is all about what is best for the team.”
Adams’ only previous Twickenham trip with Wales ended in a 12-6 defeat. It was his second international appearance, and this weekend he will oppose an England new kid on the block in the sizeable shape of Bath’s Joe Cokanasiga.
Even though the bigger picture is Wales’ World Cup campaign, which starts against Georgia on September 23, victory against England would be another notable stepping stone on route to Japan.
England, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and France are among those to have fallen during Wales’ long unbeaten sequence, and it is approaching 18 months since they lost a Test match.
“We don’t want to lose a 14-match winning streak,” Adams added.
“He (Gatland) could have made some changes and tried some different combinations, but he has shown faith in the Six Nations group and given us the chance to go out and make it 15.”
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