Josh Adams insists Cardiff Blues must be ‘on the money’ as they prepare for Friday’s Guinness PRO14 opener against Zebre.
The wing has been in scintillating form since joining the region last summer, scoring seven tries in eight outings including scores in the recent derby fixtures against Scarlets and Ospreys.
The Welsh international is well aware of the challenges facing his side out in Parma but hopes his side can kick off the season with a win as they look to build some early momentum in the Championship.
“Yes, I’m thoroughly looking forward to it. I think I said after the Ospreys game that it would’ve been nice to continue the season from there and play as it had been a while since we’d had a game,” said Adams.
“We had a little week off and were then back into it.
“It’s a different but exciting season ahead and we’re looking forward to get going.
“Every team in the PRO14 is highly competitive and Zebre have come on leaps and bounds.
“They’re exceptionally strong at home and we’ve done our homework on them.
“Any game away from home is tough now and we’ll definitely have to be on the money to get a result out there.
“But looking back at the Ospreys game, there’s definitely a lot of positives that we can take from that and that’s the sort of template we want to put forward going into Friday night.
“For us it’s about being a bit more consistent with our performances. A great example of that is the two derby games we’ve just had. The game against Scarlets was not too good, but against Ospreys was pretty good.
“It’s not allowing us to have a trend where we go from a good game to a bad game, then back to good.
“We need to be competitive for long periods of time, and consistency will come from staying in games for long periods of time.
“We can’t let games get away from us when it’s hanging in the balance and that’s something we’re trying to work on.
“I think you’ll see an improvement from us as a squad, especially away from home, where we’ll stay in the game for a lot longer.”
Adams has been one of the in-form wings in world rugby over the last 18 months. From winning a Grand Slam with Wales in 2019, he finished the Rugby World Cup in Japan as the tournament’s top try scorer and his international record stands at 14 tries in 24 appearances.
But the 25 year old insists there is no room for complacency as he looks to find yet another level to his game.
“I want to pick up from where I left off from last year,” added the wing.
“Up to the Six Nations, I thought I was having a good run of form until the injury, and in the two games that just passed I thought I was having some consistency and rhythm back into my game.
“I’d just like to pick up where I left off and if I can build on that then hopefully I can put myself into a good position to be selected for the autumn internationals.
“The second you rest on your laurels, that’s you done.
“This game is so competitive with so many good players, the second you do that someone else will take their chance.
“It’s important to stay on top of your game. You need to make your strengths your super-strengths and make sure that whatever aspect of your game needs working on that you put the hours in and keep betting yourself every day.
“Every training session is a chance to get better and if you come off the training field feeling one per cent better, then it’s a good day.
“I’m always thinking about how I can influence the opposition defence in the next two or three phases.
“It’s also about knowing the players around you and working with them. You need to know their skills and strengths.
“Someone like Jarrod, for example, is one of the best I’ve played with when it comes to taking the ball to the line and he’ll always attract defenders.
“It becomes easy to pick out holes inside and outside someone like him.
“You’ve also got Rey, who has strength and footwork at the line. He’s fantastic and always gets his hands free so it’s about picking your opportunities well and work smart.”