Wales winger Josh Adams finished the Rugby World Cup as top try scorer, with seven, capping a meteoric rise from playing in the English third division just four years ago.
The Swansea-born 24-year-old cut his teeth after moving to English Premiership club Worcester in 2015, spending his first season there loaned out to Cinderford of National League One.
Adams was snapped up by Cardiff Blues at the start of this season, having nailed down his spot in the Wales starting XV under former coach Warren Gatland and his successor Wayne Pivac, having made his international debut in February 2018.
“I am still picking up things and adding it to my game and it’s great to learn new ideas,” Adams said when asked about his progress.
“Hopefully if I can keep doing that and enjoying it and working hard the tries will keep coming.”
Adams opened his championship campaign this season with a hat-trick of tries against Italy, backing himself to take on, and beat, opponents.
“I’m a little bit gutted in some ways if I don’t score a try,” said the winger who has now scored 14 tries in his 23 games for Wales.
“Scoring tries is great and I absolutely love doing it. I look for opportunities at every chance I can get. I’m always floating around the field, probably in positions you wouldn’t expect me to be, always there trying to sniff out a try.
“Whichever way I can make a positive impact for us as a team is the most important thing. If tries come off the back of that, fantastic.
“I’ll just keep doing that and hopefully that will lead to more tries and opportunities for us as a team.”
– Wary of Thomas –
Adams will be partnered on the wing by George North, who has come in for some criticism for his all-round play.
North, Adams insisted, was someone he looked up to.
“He has had a fantastic career and is only 27 — 93 caps at 27 are incredible,” he said. “He has got so much left in the tank as well.”
Adams’ opponent in blue will be Racing 92’s Teddy Thomas, also a proven threat when it comes to crossing the whitewash.
“He is a great try scorer and a fantastic athlete,” Adams said.
“He is playing in a great Racing team and the way they play definitely suits him.
“He has been going well for France in these two games as well.”
France coach Fabien Galthie has shifted Gael Fickou out to the other wing from centre, in the absence of the injured duo of Damian Penaud and Vincent Rattez.
He also welcomed back in-form Virimi Vakatawa into midfield, something that Wales coach Pivac said had to be carefully monitored.
“We have to pay them a lot of respect as there is a lot of power there,” Pivac said.
“Vakatawa, like with most Fijian players, you don’t want to give him too much time and space. If we can shut down his time and space and make his life difficult early on that will work in our favour.”