Josh Adams has travelled to Jersey for his first taste of British & Irish Lions action with the full support of his pregnant fiancée Georgia.
Cardiff Blues wing Adams has 17 tries in 32 Tests for Wales and that form at international level has earned him a call-up for the Lions squad to face South Africa this summer.
The 26-year-old is training with the Lions in Jersey this week, but will spend the next few months apart from Georgia and will miss the birth of his first child.
Covid-19 protocols mean the Lions will stay in bio-secure bubbles on tour with no partners, parents or friends and family travelling to South Africa.
“It was hard and emotional, especially on Sunday when I went on the plane bound for Jersey,” said Adams of leaving his family behind.
“It was difficult to say goodbye to Georgia, but we’ve had several conversations prior to leaving and she’s been brilliant throughout this period. Both families have been superb as well.
“I’ve got a great support network here with the boys, coaches and backroom staff and back home and I’m very fortunate to have such a supportive family.
“We were watching it together in the living room when the squad was announced. We were both up in the air and very happy. I was telling Georgia not to jump too much because of the baby!
“We’d already spoken about it by that point. Everything had been sorted and then it was just an anxious wait to see if I was selected.”
The Lions are training in Jersey this week without their players from Saracens, Exeter and Bristol who are still involved in end-of-season play-off games.
The team face Japan in Edinburgh in their first game – a warm-up clash before they head to South Africa – a week on Saturday.
When asked which of his Lions team-mates he most wants to play with, Adams said: “Probably someone like Stuart Hogg from Scotland.
“He’s got a bit of X-factor about him, hasn’t he? He always makes the odd break from full-back. He’s an exciting player.
“He’s someone you could pick up a couple of tries from by just floating around him and getting on his shoulder.”
If Adams is selected for the Lions Test team he will be driven on by the memory of the 2019 World Cup when Wales were knocked out at the semi-final stage by South Africa.
The Springboks went on to be crowned world champions.
“There is obviously a little bit of motivation about it for myself,” said Adams, whose side lost 19-16 in Yokohama.
“We came agonisingly close with the kick in the last couple of minutes but, then again, I’m in a different environment now.
“It’s a different team with new ideas coming from everybody. You have to park that and take it as a fresh start. We’re looking at it as a three-Test series.
“There is a bit of motivation personally, but as a collective it’s a fresh start.”