Dillon Lewis admits seeing his name in Wales’ Rugby World Cup squad is a dream come true.
It’s been a ‘surreal’ few days for the Cardiff Blues academy product, who continues his meteoric rise on the international stage by heading to Japan as a member of Warren Gatland’s 31-man squad.
Lewis says it’s a moment to savour for the entire family, and he looks forward to making the most of the Japanese culture when they head over to the Land of the Rising Sun.
“It’s been a bit surreal since the announcement to be honest, and when you’re growing up you dream of, not only playing for Wales, but especially being part of a World Cup squad,” said the prop.
“There’s not many better feelings than seeing your name in that squad. I’m a bit shocked, and it’s been a whirlwind year and this is the tip of the lot.
“I’m excited and I can’t wait to see what’s to come.
“My father rung me from his holiday in Corfu, and he was crying down the phone, so my parents are over the moon.
“It’s nice for them to be able to share this moment with me, because of all the sacrifices they made when I was younger.
“It was great to see Freddie, from Beddau, who announced my place in the squad on my behalf.
“I went to Beddau and could’ve never been made to feel more welcome at a club, and it’s a credit to them as a club and as individuals. They’re fantastic and I owe a lot to them as well.
“Japan will definitely be a bit different to wondering around Pontypridd high street, I think.
“But it’s something I look forward to. We’re lucky to travel quite a bit with rugby and it will be interesting to go to Japan.
“I like my sushi, so I’m looking forward to that as well as soaking up a bit of culture, although Google translate will be getting used out there quite a bit!”
Wales have one final warm-up game remaining, as they travel to Dublin on Saturday to take on Ireland.
However, not everyone has booked their place on the plane to the Far East, with Lewis’ close friend and regional team-mate, Jarrod Evans, amongst those who were unlucky to miss out, but the prop expects the playmaker to bounce back stronger than ever,
Lewis added: “Everyone knows how good a player Jarrod is. He’s a fantastic player, and someone I’ve been close friends with since we were seven years old.
“I’m gutted for him, and it would’ve been really nice to have him out in Japan with us.
“But from knowing him, he won’t dwell hard on this, and he’ll return to the Blues to perform better than ever.
“He’s had a good summer of training with Wales, so he’ll be fit and firing and I’m looking forward to see what he’ll do out there.
“Any opportunity to play for Wales, you want to grab it with both hands, so hopefully I get selected to go to Dublin this weekend.
“It’s an exciting couple of weeks ahead and I’m looking forward to this weekend again.”