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The zero-tolerance Lions: 'We need to call each other out if anyone isn't following the protocols'

By PA
Chris Harris, Lions AJ5I9364-2

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Josh Adams is eager to develop his relationship with Stuart Hogg from Six Nations rival to British and Irish Lions team-mate knowing his artistry could enhance his own strike rate. Of the 36 other players selected for the tour to South Africa, it is the prospect of playing with Hogg that excites Adams most with the pair strong contenders for back three starts against the Springboks.

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Adams has developed into a ruthless finisher on the wing for Wales after amassing 17 tries in 32 Tests while Scotland captain Hogg is a deadly runner from full-back. “Probably someone like Stuart Hogg from Scotland,” said Adams when asked which of his Lions teammates he most wants to play with.

“He’s got a bit of X-factor about him, hasn’t he? He always makes the odd break from full-back. He’s an exciting player. He’s someone you could pick up a couple of tries from by just floating around him and getting on his shoulder.”

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If Adams is selected for the Test team he will be driven on by the memory of the 2019 World Cup when Wales were knocked out at the semi-final stage by South Africa, who went on to be crowned world champions. “There’s obviously a little bit of motivation about it for myself,” said Adams, whose side lost 19-16 in Yokohama.

“We came agonisingly close with the kick in the last couple of minutes but, then again, I’m in a different environment now. It’s a different team with new ideas coming from everybody. You have to park that and take it as a fresh start. We’re looking at it as a three-Test series. There is a bit of motivation personally but as a collective, it’s a fresh start.”

For the build-up to the tour and in South Africa itself, the Lions will be operating in a strict bubble environment with Scotland centre Chris Harris revealing a zero-tolerance approach will be enforced by the players. “It was set out really early before we met and got together. We were told to wear our mask. We know how vigilant we have to be and how strict we need to be,” said Harris, who was described by Gregor Townsend in March as one of the world’s best defensive No13s.

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“We need to call each other out if anyone isn’t following the protocols. It’s really important that we do that because we can’t risk catching it and risk it spreading.” A social committee has already been assembled with a key date looming in the diary on Friday when England clash with Scotland in the group stage of Euro 2020.

“The game will be on in the team room. The Scotland game was on in the team room on Monday afternoon,” Harris said. That was an unfortunate loss but there will hopefully be a bounce-back next week. All the football will be on in the team room when possible. There are boys who are into football who will be watching that. It’s something that’s put on that we can do together.”

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The zero-tolerance Lions: 'We need to call each other out if anyone isn't following the protocols'

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