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Adams a ‘better player and person’ after Lions tour

Josh Adams in training with the British & Irish Lions. Credit: INPHO

Adams a ‘better player and person’ after Lions tour

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Wales wing Josh Adams declared himself “a better player and person” after his first experience of touring with the British & Irish Lions this summer.

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Adams finished the 2021 trip to South Africa as the Lions’ top try scorer with a total of eight scores and his form earned him a place in the starting side for the third Test.

The Springboks might have come out on top in that game to earn a 2-1 Test series victory leaving Adams and his team-mates disappointed, but the back will still look back on the tour with fondness.

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Adams, 26, missed the birth of his first daughter Lottie because he was in South Africa and that commitment showed just how much the Lions means to British players.

“I think it’s vital the Lions continues for as long as possible,” Adams said.

“It’s a unique organisation that comes around every four years and the elite from the northern hemisphere get to represent this prestigious club.

“It’s the pinnacle of rugby union for the British and Irish boys. It’s an amazing experience.

It’s the pinnacle of rugby union for the British and Irish boys. It’s an amazing experience

“It’s very difficult to sum up and portray my feelings as you have to experience it yourself to really know what it’s like. In a simple word, it’s amazing.

“We’ve not been able to experience South Africa as fully as we might have wanted to, but it’s certainly made me hungry to kick on and be selected for the next tour.

“I know it’s a long way away and many things can happen, but if I was still playing well and available, to represent the Lions again would be incredible.

“I’ve learned a lot from other players as well, not just the new coaches I’ve worked with. Being able to train and play with them has been brilliant.

“I’m certainly a better player and person leaving this tour.”

Josh Adams was top try scorer for the Lions on their tour of South Africa

I know it’s a long way away and many things can happen but if I was still playing well and available, to represent the Lions again would be incredible

Adams’ fiancée Georgia gave birth while he was on Lions duty so he witnessed Lottie’s arrival via Zoom.

“It started off quite smoothly but as the due date got closer, you’re a bit nervier about when she might go into labour,” said Adams.

“After a day or two of it all settling and knowing they were both OK it was all focus on the first Test.

“The boys who got selected thoroughly deserved their spots. I kept my head down and made a conscious effort to get better in the two weeks I didn’t play and thankfully I got my opportunity.

“After everything that’s happened throughout the tour, to finally be able to say I’m a Test Lion is a fantastic feeling and I’m really proud to have joined a club of special, special players.

“To come so close is pretty gutting. After all the hard work we put in, I think we deserved more but that’s how rugby is sometimes. Hats off to South Africa, fair play.”

Adams loved every minute of the Lions tour. Credit: INPHO

South Africa beat the Lions 19-16 in the final Test to claim the series.

Adams and his team-mates have now arrived back in the UK and will undergo a mandatory quarantine period before being able to enjoy a rest ahead of the new season.

“There were slight tweaks in preparation and as a squad, we wanted to challenge South Africa more with the ball. At times, we certainly did that,” Adams said.

“There were a couple of missed opportunities which on another day would have gone our way, but for me personally it’s been a fantastic experience.

“It has been a special group of people to work with and we’ve all thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Even though the series didn’t go our way, everyone has enjoyed being part of the Lions in 2021.”

It has been a special group of people to work with and we’ve all thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though the series didn’t go our way, everyone has enjoyed being part of the Lions in 2021

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