Hallam Amos must earn a summer of rugby - Wales coach Rob Howley
IT'S South Africa or bust for Newport Gwent Dragons speedster Hallam Amos this summer.
The 19-year-old full-back/wing has been pulled out of the Wales Under-20s squad for the Junior World Championship in New Zealand so that he can attempt to add to the cap he won against Tonga last autumn.
Amos will feature in the May 30 trial match that precedes the naming of the 31-man squad that Warren Gatland will take to tackle the Springboks.
He is joined in the probables set-up by inked-in South Africa tourists Alex Cuthbert, George North and Liam Williams but assistant coach Rob Howley has stressed that no promises have been made to the young Dragons star.
"It was only sensible that he was named in the initial Under-20s but we guessed this day would come," said the former scrum-half, who will be in charge of the probables.
"I've spoken to Hallam and told him there are no guarantees about South Africa; ultimately it's down to his performance against the possibles.
"Hallam was involved with us in the autumn and probably would have been in the Six Nations squad were it not for injury.
"He is an immense talent and I've watched him several times recently for the Dragons; I felt he played particularly well, as all of the back three did, against the Ospreys.
"Hallam has an eye for the counter-attack, the ability to beat the first defender."
With Leigh Halfpenny sidelined by a shoulder injury, Amos expressed his preference to get the upgrade to South Africa.
"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," he said a fortnight ago.
And Amos will get a chance to slot in on the wing at the Liberty Stadium if Northampton beat Leicester in the Aviva Premiership playoff semi-final.
That would rule George North out of the trial game and provide the teenager with a chance to cement a place in Gatland's 31 for South Africa, which itself would lead to an outing in the midweek warm-up against Eastern Province Kings.
The probables squad features Amos' regional teammate Tom Prydie, James Hook, Jordan Williams and Harry Robinson as back three options.
Gatland also revealed that he considered calling up Dragons centre Jack Dixon for the Liberty Stadium encounter but felt the powerful 19-year-old would benefit more from heading to his third Junior World Championship.
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