Josh Adams is determined to help mould the stars of tomorrow and use his experiences to assist Cardiff Blues’ promising youngsters.
The live-wire wing is the latest guest on the Cardiff Blues Welsh language podcast, with the in-depth chat available on all major platforms from tomorrow.
On the episode, the Welsh international dives into lockdown life, his meteoric rise on the international stage and the highs and lows of an already highly impressive career.
Adams chats about the set-back of being released from the Scarlets academy, and how he bounced back to prove a point during his time with Worcester Warriors, and now he’s determined to help Cardiff Blues’ youngsters to maximise their potential.
The Rugby World Cup top try scorer explained: “When I left the Scarlets, the academy were training separately from the first team. They’d have a different schedule for their training week.
“But when I went up to Worcester, the academy and the first team were all together.
“I’d be training alongside boys like Francois Hougaard and Ben Te’o, and also fantastic wings like Bryce Heem, who was a superb player who came over from New Zealand and the full back Chris Pennell.
“I was training with boys like that and learning a lot just by training with them. Even by sitting on the sidelines and watching them, you’d constantly learn things.
“And it was great to come here to Cardiff Blues and see the boys from the academy training with us. They’ll learn a lot more by training with us than they would training as an academy group alone.
“Training together, as a first team and academy group, is a really good thing for the youngsters.
“Even today, you had boys like Ioan [Davies], who plays at full back, and Mason [Grady], who has just come into the academy and was training on the wing.
“I always try to speak to them. If they want to ask me anything, they can ask anything they want. I also try to look at them training and give messages about how they can develop and improve.
“I enjoy doing that, and I like working with the youngsters because I know how it feels to be in their shoes.
“That’s why I try to give something back to them and give them a taste of my experience, so they can become better players too.”
The Cardiff Blues star joined an exclusive club in 2019, as he cemented his name as top try scorer in the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
He capped off an impressive campaign with a try in the bronze final against New Zealand, edging Springboks’ Makazole Mapimpi to top spot.
And Adams admits there was no stopping him from sealing the award in the clash against the All Blacks.
He added: “I’d only been playing for Wales for just more than two years and I had a Grand Slam, a semi final in the World Cup and was the top try scorer.
“It’s really nice to have my name on that list, and it will always been there, with some world class players like Jonah Lomu, Julian Savea and Bryan Habana. They’re special players, and I’m on that same list.
“It’s pretty crazy when I think about it.
“But I had a mindset heading into the game against New Zealand. I’d scored six tries and the South African wing, [Makazole] Mapimpi, was on five.
“I knew there was a chance he’d score in the final against England, but if I was to win I didn’t want to share the award.
“My mindset, heading into that game, was that I had to score. If it was a try from 50 meters or one meter, I didn’t care, I just wanted a try.
“As it turns out, it came from one meter!
“I was playing on the left wing, but I was on the other side of the field, in the middle of it with the forwards doing pick-and-gos. That’s how much I wanted to score.
“I got there in the end, and if you look back at the clip, you can see the smile on my face. I knew I had a good chance, and had beaten Shane’s record. Mapimpi would have to score two or three to get there.”
Months after announcing his switch to the Welsh capital, Adams finally made his long-awaited debut in Cardiff Blues colours in the European Challenge Cup clash against Pau.
The wing seamlessly transferred his international form to regional colours as he marked his debut at the Arms Park with a stunning hat-trick.
The 25-year-old recalled: “It felt like ages, because I waited and waited and waited for an opportunity. I’d signed around Christmas and had to wait almost nine months to get a chance to wear the jersey.
“But I was delighted to get that chance and to do it at home in Cardiff was really nice too.
“That game against Pau was probably our best performance of the season.
“Like a striker in football, there’s an expectance that wings score tries in rugby. So of course, a try like that takes the pressure off straight away.
“It’s always nice to score, but especially in your first game at home. A few of the Wales boys were back for that game, like Tomos and Hallam, although he had played one game before that.
“So it was nice to play with them, but to have that first try within the first 10 minutes was brilliant.
“It was a special try too. Jarrod showed some magic to go in and out of some Pau defenders, Tomos came up with a lovely flick and it ended up being a simple pass from Olly, and I was on his shoulder. All I had to do was put it down.
“If you look back at that game, you can see from the way we played that we had a lot of confidence. Everything we tried came off.
“I think almost everyone in the backline scored. It was Ben Thomas’ first game, and he was brilliant, and went on to start in the derbies over Christmas.
“It was the first time I played with Rey too, and I could see he was a special player. He’s such an important player for us as a team.
“But to go on then and score three tries was class. My family were there watching as well so it was a nice moment for myself.”
All episodes of the Cardiff Blues Podcast, including Welsh language episodes in the company of Jamie Roberts and Nicky Robinson, are available NOW on all major platforms, with the episode with Josh Adams released on Wednesday, August 18.