8:00am Saturday 5th January 2013
By Chris Kirwan
‘THE new JPR’ was a moniker that made Jamie Roberts roll his eyes, now the powerhouse centre has played a small part in the burgeoning career of Welsh rugby’s next medicine man.
Newport Gwent Dragons full-back Hallam Amos will follow in the footsteps of the Blues, Wales and Lions ace, both on the field and in the lecture theatre.
It will be his turn to live with the tag ‘the new Jamie Roberts’.
The 18-year-old has been accepted by Cardiff University and from September will combine his medical studies in the capital with his rugby education at Rodney Parade.
Its a path that has been trodden by Roberts, who will sit his finals in the week of Wales’ Six Nations climax against England in March.
And Amos, who will make his third regional start on the spin against Connacht this evening, has already benefited from some advice from the 26-year-old undergraduate.
“He was really positive about it all and is pleased that there is somebody trying to emulate him,” said Amos, whose parents are both doctors.
“Jamie started a bit later than I did, he wasn’t a pro until his third year and said it was tough trying to do uni full-time with a rugby career full-time. But he said as long as you manage your time effectively and talk to both sides it’s definitely do-able, hopefully it will be for me.
“Medicine was always something I considered and I never really thought of doing something else at university.
“There was a possibility of going to university in England but Cardiff was the only place that would allow me to play rugby as well, so it was a no-brainer really.”
Exams are looming for Amos and the full-back expects a stiff test of his aerial skills in Galway this evening.
The Monmouth School head boy will soon be sitting five A level papers – chemistry, biology and three in maths – but the past week has consisted of studying footage of Connacht fly-half Dan Parks.
After going up against Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys in the wind and the rain, Amos expects to be put under pressure once again.
He said: “I expect it will be really wet and windy... fun for a full-back! Dan Biggar moved the ball around and Dan Parks will be the same – his kicking game is very varied and I will have to be focused the whole time, I can’t afford to switch off.
“The weather was a big factor in both derby games and it's been tough, but I enjoyed them both greatly.
“The conditions meant it has been more about tactical kicking, I like to run it a bit more but there hasn’t really been the opportunity to do that.
“I've played on the wing and centre for the Dragons but full-back is my favourite position and where I see myself playing,” he added.
“There’s a bit more freedom and space on the ball; you can bring in the different parts of your game – kicking, running and passing – and you can stand back, take a view and pick your lines.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group