Adam Beard (Aberavon)
Adam Beard is a tall, athletic and powerful second row who was Lions coach Warren Gatland’s choice when his captain Alun Wyn Jones was injured in the match against Japan.
The 6ft 6in, 25-year-old Beard learned his trade playing in the Welsh Premiership with Aberavon before going on to the Ospreys.
His former Aberavon coach Jason Hyatt recalls the hard work and dedication to improve Beard showed from an early age.
“I’m delighted to see Adam earn his Lions call up. It’s a great reward for all his hard work and current form,” says Hyatt.
“Adam made an instant impact at Aberavon, not only on the field but off it, too. His work rate and enthusiasm was infectious.”
Hyatt is not surprised by Beard’s rise since progressing from Aberavon and says he possess lots of crucial rugby qualities.
“It was obvious from the start that Adam was destined to play rugby at the very highest standard. During his time with us he was a very talented athlete and most importantly he had a great attitude.
“Adam has many strengths - his line-out work in both attack and defence is excellent, he is very physical and this adds tremendously to the scrum.
“But in my opinion, Adam’s main strength is his character, which he formed as a young boy with us.
“He has an outstanding work rate and he knows how to bring out the best from his team-mates.
“Adam is an outstanding role model for all the young players that represent Aberavon and is a great example of what is achievable if you’er prepared to put in the work.”
Hyatt is looking forward to the return of Welsh Premiership rugby, where clubs such as Aberavon can continue their role if producing the Wales and Lions stars of the future.
The Wizards have not played for over a year during the pandemic, but Hyatt says:“The Welsh Premiership continues to play a vital role in the development of young players.
“Apart from offering quality game time, it brings an opportunity for young players to test themselves against quality teams and opponents.
“The Premiership also allows the players to apply their skills in extremely competitive situations and it creates a challenging and competitive team culture.
“The Premiership is an outstanding environment to practice this.”
Below is a full of list of the current Welsh Lions players and their grassroots clubs:
Josh Adams- Hendy, Llanelli
Adam Beard- Aberavon, Birchgrove, Swansea Uplands, Morriston
Dan Biggar- Gorseinon, Swansea
Gareth Davies- Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthen Quins, Llanelli
Taulupe Faletau- Ebbw Vale, New Panteg, Cross Keys, Newport
Wyn Jones- Llandovery
Josh Navidi- Bridgend Athletic
Ken Owens- Carmarthen Athletic
Louis Rees-Zammit- Llandaff, Rumney
Justin Tipuric- Trebanos, Aberavon
Liam Williams- Waunarlwydd, Llanelli
Alun Wyn Jones- Bonymaen