Sports

The surprise player now ranked as the first Welsh name on the plane for Lions

He didn’t start the Six Nations until round three after missing the opening jousts because of suspension.

Also, he has only 7,648 Twitter followers compared with George North’s 430k and Alun Wyn Jones’ 173k.

And in the Six Nations, he — and pretty much every other player, come to think about it — was put in the shade by the star power of Louis Rees-Zammit and the sustained brilliance of Taulupe Faletau.

But Josh Adams is the Wales player considered the biggest certainty to tour with the Lions this summer.

The man banned for two games by Wayne Pivac after a breach of Covid regulations is thought more sure of a squad place with the best of British and Irish rugby than all his Wales team-mates.

Bookmakers Skybet make him 1/10 to feature in Warren Gatland’s squad when it’s announced on May 6. Only two players from across the home nations, Owen Farrell and Stuart Hogg, are felt more likely to travel.

Adams improved as the Six Nations wore on, saving his best for last when he scored against France and impressed with a typically hard-working effort.

He is also a player who consistently delivered for Warren Gatland during the New Zealander’s time as Wales head coach, never more so than in 2018 when he rose to the challenge of opposing Israel Folau, with the west Walian making three clean breaks and barely offering breathing space to an opponent then rated as one of the world’s most dangerous players.

In that game, when Australia were fielding David Pocock and Michael Hooper, Justin Tipuric had won three turnovers and teamed up with others to claim two more.

But Gatland named Adams as his player of the day, saying after the match: “I thought Josh Adams was man of the match.

“He made lots of good decisions, chased well, defended and ran strongly.”

Gatland would have enjoyed Adams emerging as top try scorer at the World Cup, too, with seven touchdowns.

But, to the Lions coach, it’s the extras the west Walian brings that set him apart.

In a recent House of Rugby podcast, Sam Warburton spoke glowingly about the Cardiff Blues man and fellow Wales wing Liam Williams, calling them “the most fierce back-three players I’ve seen in the sense of kick-chase and they fly into rucks and compete on the ball”.

It would be a surprise if Gatland felt differently.

Unsurprisingly captaincy favourite Alun Wyn Jones is strongly fancied to make the tour, at 1/8.



Lions head coach Warren Gatland

The 12 Wales players who are rated as odds-on two weeks out from the official squad announcement are Adams, Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, George North, Jonathan Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Liam Williams, Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Louis Rees-Zammit and Josh Navidi, in that order.

Interestingly, there isn’t a scrum-half on that list.

Rewind to the start of the season and Wales were considered to have three frontline No. 9 candidates in Tomos Williams, Gareth Davies and Rhys Webb.

Injury and Wales selection tribulations appear to have done for Webb’s chances, while Conor Murray and Ben Youngs are now leading the rest of the field.

Kieran Hardy has also come through to force his way into contention.

With no scrum-half truly dazzling throughout the campaign, it may be there is still a place or two to be won there.

Selected Skybet odds to make Lions tour party: Owen Farrell (1/20), Stuart Hogg (1/20), Josh Adams (1/10), Maro Itoje (1/10), Taulupe Faletau (1/5), Louis Rees-Zammit (1/2), Josh Navidi (4/7), Gareth Davies (11/10), Tomos Williams (6/5), Adam Beard (6/1), Leigh Halfpenny (8/1), Ellis Jenkins (8/1).

...

ALSO READ  AEW star Brodie Lee dies at age 41
Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close
eskisehir escort -

jojobet.live

- redwin1.club - jetbahis.contact -
retrobet
- tempobeteskisehir escort -

jojobet.live

- redwin1.club - jetbahis.contact -
retrobet
- tempobet