Wales star Josh Adams has revealed how close he was to turning down the Lions.
It was no surprise the tryout machine was named in Warren Gatland’s squad for the South Africa tour last summer, but accepting the call-up was a decision he struggled with.
Adams was receiving the highest honor a player from these regions could get, but the tour collided with the date his partner, Georgia, was due to give birth to their first child. This has put Adams in an impossible position and in a new behind-the-scenes documentary, Two Sides, airing this Sunday on ITV, the 27-year-old discusses the situation.
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“He read my name, she and I were obviously screaming, like oh my God, but then also thinking – shit,” he said.
“There were a lot of conversations, a lot of tears, I can tell you. I was so close to saying, ‘Look, I’m very grateful to have been selected but I can’t go.
“My fiancée and my family were so supportive they said it was once in a lifetime and you could never represent the Lions again.”
Unsure of what to do and worried about what it might look like, Adams consulted with Georgia’s family before leaving.
Georgia said: “My immediate reaction was that we don’t even talk about it, we don’t think twice about it, he has to go but it was difficult for Josh.
“He spoke to my family because he was really scared that they would think he was leaving me for childbirth, but their reaction was the same as mine. They were really okay with him.
Of course, in the end, Adams toured and in a certain style. He racked up eight tries in five matches in the famous red shirt, which was worth it.
He was penciled in to face South Africa ‘A’ in Cape Town as the tour reached the end of business but was texted as he entered the locker room ahead of the game.
Georgia was going to the hospital to give birth and the documentary shows the speedster talking to Gatland to retire from the game and heading to a foster suite to view the birth via video call.
“I had received a text saying, ‘Josh, I went to the hospital'”, he recalls.
“I had it all set up in front of me on FaceTime. Georgia’s mom was there with all the scrubs and stuff, watching Georgia.
“I was a dad that night.”
Georgia sums it up nicely, adding, “It makes me really, really emotional. He was getting the biggest achievement of his career, but also missing the biggest thing to happen in his life.
“But I would do it all over again. It was totally worth it and we are so proud of him.
*Two Sides is the behind-the-scenes documentary of the Lions tour with access to Lions and South Africa camps. The first episode airs on ITV at 10.20pm on Sunday June 19.