The Wales star England tried to lure away


Hallam-Amos-with-shirtHe was one of the break-out stars of Wales’s recent autumn series, a player who saw more minutes of rugby than anyone else in Warren Gatland’s squad and made a significant impact.

Hallam Amos figured in every game and featured on the field for 256 minutes, scoring tries against Australia and Georgia and setting up scores against New Zealand and South Africa.

But it could easily have been different.

He could easily have been part of England’s set-up Stockport-born, he was courted by the Red Rose brigade as a teenager after a series of impressive performances for Wales Under-16s.

But Amos rebuffed his would-be suitors from over the Severn Bridge.

In an interview in the latest edition of Rugby World , he explained: “I played for Wales Under-16s, then the England Under-18 coaches came in for a chat.

“I’ve lived in Wales since I was four and felt Welsh, so while there was the possibiliy of going across to England, I decided Wales was right for me.”

He has never had any regrets.

How could anyone regret sampling the experience of running out at the Principality Stadium, emerging on the field as a wave of Welsh passion crashes down from the stands. Then savouring the anthem, every hair on the back of the neck standing on end.

“The experience of playing at the Principality Stadium cannot be matched,” said Amos

“In the changing room you can hear the crowd but it’s quite subdued, then when you walk out in front of 70,000 people you hear it and rows of people rise up in front of you.”

The 23-year-old is on the mend after sustaining an ankle injury playing for the Dragons in their Boxing Day clash with Cardiff Blues.

Being sidelined can be difficult for a sportsman.

But Amos isn’t the type to spend hours misspending his youth in a smoky snooker hall or watching daytime television. Nor does sitting on the nearest street corner each afternoon particularly tick every box.

He prefers to do other things with his spare time.

“I’m taking piano lessons to broaden my horizons,” he said. “I’m terrible at it but it’s fun and hopefully one day I’ll get better.”

The Dragon who is studying to be a doctor continued: “I’ve done four-and-a-half years of my medicine degree and I’m halfway through.

“The people I started with graduate this year.

“I’ve had four shoulder operations and while it’s devastating when you get injured, it gives me time to crack on with uni work.”

None of the above would have surprised anyone at Monmouth School, where Amos was once head boy. He once flew home to sit a further maths A-level exam after representing Wales Under-20s against Argentina in the Junior World Championship in France — and days before a semi-final with South Africa.

When the results came out later that summer, he had earned three A*s and an A.

His old first XV coach at Monmouth, former Wales and Lions wing John Bevan, said at the time: “He can do anything.

“If he decided to take up ping pong he would be playing for Great Britain

“He’s a very talented boy and a modest boy as well.”

Amos actually paid a visit to his old stamping ground this week, handing out the Monmouth School rugby awards and a Wales jersey to the captain of the first XV.

He said: “Regardless of where you end up — and I have been lucky enough to play in front of 75,000 people in Cardiff against the All Blacks and against England when we beat them at the last World Cup — my favourite period of playing rugby will always be at Monmouth playing with my mates.”

A nice bloke, Hallam Amos.

And grounded with it.

Source: WalesOnline