NEWPORT Gwent Dragons’ Hallam Amos hasn’t given up hope of forcing his way into Warren Gatland’s Wales squad so that he has an international summer in South Africa rather than New Zealand.
The full-back/wing has been named in the Under-20s squad that will head Down Under for the Junior World Championship but the 19-year-old is still eyeing the two-Test tour against the Springboks.
Amos won his first cap on the wing against Tonga last autumn and, with Leigh Halfpenny sidelined with a shoulder injury, wants to travel to South Africa with fellow back three members George North, Alex Cuthbert and Liam Williams.
With Gatland arranging a midweek clash with Eastern Province Kings before the first Test, places are up for grabs and Amos wants an upgrade.
"I loved my time with the Under-20s last year but South Africa is my main aim," said Amos, who was a member of the XV that lost to England in the final of the 2013 Junior World Championship.
"I'd be switched on for the 20s and it's good that I've got both options but the door is still open (for South Africa) and I'll wait and see what happens.
"Leigh is out so there is more space than there usually would be and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking at it because once you experience the senior environment you want to stay there.
"But it would still be great to go to New Zealand for the first time and it will be a hell of a tournament. The standard is high; the size of players is smaller than regional rugby but the pace and skill is right up there.
"And there is a sense of unfinished business after losing in the final last year."
Amos has one more chance to earn that upgrade to the seniors when he turns out for the Dragons against Treviso at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
He heads into the game on the back of a mightily impressive performance against the Scarlets, a display that shows new recruit and former Lions full-back Lee Byrne will have a job shunting him to the wing.
"I am glad Lee is coming and it will be great to learn from him, while it's good to have more than one string to my bow and be able to slot into the side elsewhere," said Amos.
"I prefer 15 because I get my hands on the ball more but with Lee and Aled Brew coming next year there will be plenty of competition for places, which is a good thing."