Josh Adams was sensationally thrown out of Wales’ Six Nations squad breaching Covid rules to attend a ‘gender reveal’ party with his partner last Sunday.
The embarrassed wing has been banned for the first two matches of the campaign against Ireland and Scotland having broken squad, tournament and government rules.
At present Wales’ match against Ireland will go ahead as the first round of Covid testing showed the entire squad were negative – but they have a second set today on Thursday with results expected by Friday.
Josh Adams was sensationally thrown out of Wales’ Six Nations squad after a Covid breach
Adams attended a ‘gender reveal party’ to celebrate his partner’s pregnancy (pictured in 2020)
Players were allowed to go home last weekend and it is understood Adams went to the house of a family member to celebrate his girlfriend Georgia’s pregnancy, which she announced in December, and was joined by a small number of others.
He returned to Wales camp on Tuesday and when head of medical Prav Mathema and team manager Martyn Williams were alerted to the breach head coach Wayne Pivac dismissed Adams from his squad.
The head coach said he felt let down.
‘Josh has embarrassed himself, he’s had to leave the team and he will do his penance at home through until Monday,’ said Pivac.
‘From our point of view, it put others at risk potentially, so it was dealt with by way of suspension.
‘He’s very much disappointed on his own behalf. He realises he has made a mistake, an error in judgement.
He has been banned from Wales’ opening two matches against Ireland and Scotland
‘He was very honest and upfront straight away. He put his hand up. He’s apologised to the team and he wants to apologise to everybody that supports Welsh rugby because he realises he has made a foolish mistake.
‘It was at a family member’s home. It was a very quiet celebration. As far as I’m aware, there was no alcohol involved, but unfortunately it is in breach of the rules.’
Adams, 25, will return to the Welsh bubble next week to help those selected for the Scotland match prepare but he will be unavailable himself.
The wing, who is one of Wales’ top players having scored 14 tries in 29 Tests including seven at the last World Cup, said: ‘I would like to apologise unreservedly.
‘When out of camp, at the weekend, I made an error of judgement. I attended a small gathering of immediate family to celebrate a family milestone.
The Cardiff Blues wing has apologised for his actions on the eve of the Six Nations
‘It was wrong to do this. I’m aware that everyone needs to follow the rules and being in the public eye I have a responsibility to lead by example and I’ve fallen short on this occasion.
‘I’d like to apologise to my teammates and to our supporters for my mistake.’
In light of Adams’ ban Pivac will not stop players returning home for short periods in the fallow weeks, though.
‘You’ve got to treat these guys as adults, as they are, and as professional rugby players,’ he said.
‘It’s a very long time to lock people away in a hotel. Everybody came back really refreshed, we had 100 per cent negative results from our testing and have been very good apart from this one breach which is unfortunate.’
A furious Wayne Pivac accused the Welsh wing of ’embarrassing himself’ with his actions
This news is an unnecessary distraction for boss Pivac who is trying to rebuild his side after a terrible 2020.
The New Zealander has won just three of 10 Tests in charge, two against Italy and another against Georgia, and led Wales to their worst Six Nations performance since 2007 finishing fifth in 2020.
Now Pivac will likely turn to Louis Rees-Zammit on the wing for the Irish match, alongside George North and Leigh Halfpenny, with Adams out.
‘Louis has trained well and is expecting now to get a call when the team is named,’ said Pivac.
‘I’d be very surprised if he didn’t.’