With multiple Six Nations titles and a British and Irish tour to his name, Josh Adams has already gathered a glittering rugby CV. But the Cardiff wing is desperate to add club success to the list, as the Blue and Black continue their hunt for a third European crown when they host Sale Sharks later this evening.
Knockout rugby returns to the Arms Park for the first time since 2018, with Dai Young’s men hosting the Gallagher Premiership’s second place outfit at the capital.
Adams is excited to be involved in knockout rugby once again and is determined to give the Arms Park faithful something to cheer about this evening.
“It’s nice to have something to play for come the end of the season. Something we spoke about at the beginning of the season, before we’d even kicked a ball, was how we’d like to get to some knockout rugby, and now we’re here,” explains the 27 year old.
“It’s great that we’ve managed to secure the home fixture as well, which makes the difference for us especially here at the Arms Park.
“Sale are definitely a form team, so it will be a big challenge for us - probably the biggest of the season if we’re honest, and one that we’ll need to step up to the plate if we want to get the result.
“I haven’t won any silverware with at club level yet, and this is only my second time playing in the knockout rounds in Europe.
“So it would certainly be nice to go on a run. Seeing teams getting into the semi finals and finals, playing in front of sell-out crowds in cracking venues is something you get pretty envious when watching, wishing you could be there playing in those games.
“Of course it’s one game at a time for us in terms of our focus, but it would be nice to get to the end of the season with a trophy potentially within our grasp.
“There are world class players who have gone their whole careers without winning something at club level. I’m sure when they finish that they look back wishing for a medal at club level somewhere.
“I really want to look back and say I’ve got one for a club, and it’s something I definitely want to achieve.
“These end of season games are important both as individuals and as a team. As a team, it’s inevitable that some lads will be leaving us at the end of the season, as is always the case.
“This group has been together for a few years and we want to try and make the last couple of weeks as enjoyable as we can.
“We’ve spoke about that, and it’s important that we enjoy each other’s company as a group in the training environment. We’re enjoying what we’re doing on the pitch as well and hopefully that will transfer to how we want to play on the weekend.
“Individually, it was a disappointing Six Nations campaign for myself. I played in all five Test matches that we had, but there were some improvements needed from my end.
“Now it’s about making sure I finish the season as best as I can, and hopefully that will lead me into the World Cup warm up camps and games, if selected. It’s an important few weeks for us all.”
Of course, this won’t be the first time that Adams faces off against Sale, having regularly featured against the Sharks during his time at Worcester Warriors.
With today’s opposition currently sitting in second place in the Gallagher Premiership, Adams is braced for a tough test against a typically stubborn and powerful Sale outfit but backs his side’s quality ahead of the big encounter.
The former Hendy man added: “I’ve played against them a couple of times during my time with Worcester, and they’ve always had a pretty tough DNA.
“They’re a gritty team who are difficult to break down and they will fight for everything. It’s that northern side in them, where they refuse to lie down and will always come at you.
“They’ve added real quality into the squad over the last couple of seasons, and their coaching team is top end.
“They’re sitting pretty in the Premiership at the moment and are looking likely to secure a home semi final so it’s all to play for for them too.
“I’m sure they’ll want to compete on both fronts - in the league and Europe - and as I said they’ve got some world class players across the board. But so have we, so it’s a challenge that we’re looking forward to.”
Cardiff take on Sale Sharks in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday, April 1 (8pm) with tickets available now. Call 029 20 302030 during normal office hours or click here to buy yours today.