Six Nations 2018: Josh Adams' Scarlet-letter day for Wales

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Six Nations 2018: Wales selection a 'huge step up' says Josh Adams
2018 Six Nations: Wales v Scotland
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: 3 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Listen on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website and app. Live text coverage on BBC Sport website and app.

Josh Adams might have thought his dream of playing in the Scarlets backline had disappeared.

The Worcester wing made only one appearance for the region before being released by the Welsh side's academy in 2015.

But on Saturday he makes his Wales debut alongside six Scarlets backs against Scotland in the Six Nations.

The 22-year-old is the only non-Scarlet player behind the scrum in coach Warren Gatland's team.

"It's funny, isn't it," he said.

Adams is the top try scorer in the Aviva Premiership this season after breaking into the first team at the Sixways Stadium last September.

His emergence as an attacking force brought him to the attention of the Wales selectors, who are without George North, Liam Williams and Hallam Amos against the Scots.

It is a long way from the day he was released by the Scarlets when he was 18 years old.

"I was quite young. A set-back like that was new to me," he said.

"But I was always positive minded about things. In fairness to Worcester they were quick in with the offer - it was something I didn't think too much about.

When I'd been up to Worcester and seen the place and what they were about there was only one place I was going and I haven't looked back really."

But for someone whose future as a professional rugby player was in doubt for a couple of weeks, his call-up for Wales is all the sweeter.

Steff Evans, Steffan Jones and Josh Adams during their time at Ysgol y Strade
Wales wings Steff Evans (left) and Josh Adams (right) with schools team-mate Steff Jones during their days at Ysgol y Strade

"I felt a bit sick really," he said of the moment he was told he was in the starting XV.

"I've worked really hard to get to this point and when you actually get the call then it's a surreal feeling. There's a lot of nerves mixed with excitement but I'm really looking forward to Saturday."

Adams will have at least one familiar face when he steps into the unfamiliar surroundings of a packed Principality Stadium.

Wales' other wing, Steff Evans, is an old school friend from Llanelli's Ysgol y Strade.

"We're both Stradey boys, same year, same age, same classes and the same group of friends - funny isn't it, two of us on the wing.

"The last time I played with Steff Evans I think I was 18 playing for Llanelli RFC. He'd just had a couple of performances for Scarlets and had a bit of an injury and came back to play for the club side.

"The first time I played was Llanelli Schoolboys Under-11."

It was in that side that Adams first played at the Principality Stadium in the final of the DC Thomas Cup.

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"We played Cardiff Schools and we lost. I played flanker that day, number seven I was," added Adams.

"And then I played there with Coleg Sir Gar in the College League Cup final against the Cardiff College - Coleg Cymoedd - and we beat them in that final.

"I played with Carmarthen Athletic Youth against Gorseinon and Leigh Halfpenny was running the kicking tee on for them because he's a Gorseinon boy."

Full-back Halfpenny will be standing alongside Adams on Saturday as Wales look to get their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start against a side that have not won in Cardiff since 2002.

It is a long way from pre-season in Worcester when playing for Wales was not on Adams' agenda.

"It wasn't really. Because of the quality in the back three in Worcester I wasn't sure if I was even going to get a starting spot," he said.

"It was a tough pre-season and we had to work hard to show who could get the starting spot. I played the first five games at full-back and when Chris Pennell came back [from injury] I moved across from 15."

Despite playing three times at the Principality Stadium, a 20,000 crowd at Leicester's Welford Road remains the biggest crowd Adams has played in front of to date.

That will change in front of a 74,000 sell-out against the Scots.

"It's going to be a huge step up," he admitted.

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