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Adams to hit 50 against England

First Team News | 9th August 2023

Cardiff Rugby star Josh Adams will win his 50th Wales cap when he lines up on the wing in Saturday’s rematch with England at Twickenham.

He will be joined in the starting line up by his Arms Park colleague Tomos Williams who wears No 9 after an impressive outing off the bench in last weekend’s 20-9 victory over the English at the Principality Stadium.

It will be a landmark occasion for the 28-year-old Adams who made his Test debut against Scotland in February 2018.

He has proved himself a prolific finisher for his country, touching down no fewer than 20 times and emerging as the top try scorer at the last World Cup in Japan.
He will now be looking to celebrate his big day in style to nail down his place at another World Cup, with Warren Gatland to name his 33-man squad for France later this month.

Speaking about Adams, Gatland said: “I have a huge amount of respect for Josh.

“I had a chat to him when he came into the squad - felt he wasn’t as sharp as I’ve seen him in the past and he agreed with that.

“He’s worked hard. He’s looking really sharp in training at the moment; so to get to earn his 50th cap is a fantastic achievement.

“He’s been through some adversity - he had to leave Wales to go to the Premiership before we could get him back - but he’s come through it and he’s a really, really popular member of the group. Josh always gives 100% and I’m absolutely delighted for him.”

Cardiff scrum-half Williams is also approaching the half century as he will win his 47th cap this weekend. He added a real zip and tempo when he came on as a sub in the opening match of the summer series last Saturday and now gets a chance to show what he can do from the start.

It’s a completely new-look Welsh team, with 15 changes from the home game against England.

There’s a debut for Scarlets centre Joe Roberts, who will become the 1,192nd men’s player to represent Wales, while Taine Plumtree get his first start as he moves in to the No 8 berth having come on as a flanker replacement last weekend.

Hooker Dewi Lake captains the senior side for the first time, with prop Kemsley Mathias and centre Keiran Williams set to make their debuts off the bench.

Recent Cardiff player Liam Williams starts at full-back, while long-time Arms Park prop Dillon Lewis is among the subs.

Giving his thoughts on his selection, Gatland said: “There’s an opportunity for another group of players who weren’t involved last week.

“There’s some great competition within the squad. I was pretty pleased with the team performance and the result last week - it wasn’t perfect but there’s a chance now for this group to go out Saturday and to put down their own marker.

“Like I said there’s some real competition and perhaps a bit of pressure on this group as well. Then we’ll look potentially what the make up of the team is the following week against South Africa.”

On the captaincy, Gatland added: “I’ve been really impressed with Dewi. Like Jac (Morgan – who captained the side last week) he’s well-respected in the group, he’s got a voice and he has confidence about himself and his own ability.

“We’re in a bit of transition, so in the back of my mind I was thinking we are building not only for the next few months but also starting to think about what we need to do with the next cycle of players going forwards towards 2027.”

Wales Team (v England, Twickenham, Saturday, Aug 12, 5.30pm):

15. Liam Williams (Kubota Spears – 84 caps)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 49 caps)
13. Joe Roberts (Scarlets – uncapped)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 27 caps)
11. Tom Rogers (Scarlets – 2 caps)
10. Owen Williams (Ospreys – 7 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 46 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys  – 21 caps)
2. Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 8 caps): captain
3. Tomas Francis (Provence – 71 caps)
4. Rhys Davies (Ospreys – 2 caps)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 46 caps)
6. Dan Lydiate (Dragons – 69 caps)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester – 9 caps)
8. Taine Plumtree (Scarlets – 1 cap)

16. Sam Parry (Ospreys – 5 caps)
17. Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets – uncapped)
18. Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 50 caps)
19. Christ Tshiunza (Exeter – 6 caps)
20. Taine Basham (Dragons – 11 caps)
21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 17 caps)
22. Dan Biggar (Toulon – 108 caps)
23. Keiran Williams (Ospreys – uncapped