THERE were butterflies in Hallam Amos’ stomach when actor and writer Ruth Jones described her Welsh rugby experience on Desert Island Discs, and the Dragons back is desperate to be a Six Nations participant rather than an onlooker.

The 24-year-old from Cross Ash made his Test debut against Tonga in the autumn of 2013, has a tally of 18 caps and is established in Warren Gatland’s squad.

Yet while Amos has played in a World Cup and taken on the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies, the wing/full-back has a solitary Six Nations appearance to his name.

The 67-18 rout of Italy in Cardiff on March 19, 2016 – when he replaced Alex Cuthbert in the XV on closing weekend – is the only time he has got on the pitch in rugby’s biggest annual tournament.

Amos has been hindered by badly-timed injuries in the past, while he has also been forced to patiently wait behind Lions Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams, George North and Cuthbert.

The Dragon will learn tomorrow whether he will feature in Gatland’s matchday squad for Friday’s opening game against France in Paris. If he is disappointed then he will just graft hard to force his way in for Rome in round two.

Penarth Times: TEST DEBUT: Hallam Amos on the run against Tonga in 2013TEST DEBUT: Hallam Amos on the run against Tonga in 2013

“I’ve got 18 caps and you’d expect the majority to be in the Six Nations but I’ve only played the one. It would be really nice to add to that,” he said.

“It would be great to get a run out because it is such a good tournament, I’ve been involved in a few and been travelling reserve.

“The World Cup is incredible, but it’s once every four years whereas the Six Nations is the premier rugby tournament in the world.

“It’s like no other in that you have got such rivalries with people that geographically are so close to you, it’s fantastic.

“The buzz only gets bigger and bigger towards Friday and everyone gets behind rugby in Wales.

“I was listening to Ruth Jones on Desert Island Discs and she was talking about how when she was a kid it was always about dressing up as Welsh rugby players and how that was part of their school experience.

“That is still the case and everyone gets behind Wales at this time of year, it’s brilliant. You are in the bubble in camp and that intensity only makes it better when you see advertising on the streets and everything.

“In a World Cup year it’s ramped up even more. It’s brilliant and hopefully we can get the wins going into Japan.”

READ MORE: Amos wants to see Dragons progress as contract expiry looms

Amos is back in the fold after yet more frustration in the autumn, when his recovery from a dislocated elbow suffered at Leinster in September came too late.

Penarth Times: INJURY BLOW: Hallam Amos suffered a dislocated elbow at LeinsterINJURY BLOW: Hallam Amos suffered a dislocated elbow at Leinster

After starting at full-back in all three of Wales’ summer Tests, the Dragons speedster watched on from the sidelines as Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa were beaten in Cardiff.

“That’s the game, I have been unlucky with injuries through the years. I get a run and then something gives way and I am on the operating table again,” he said.

“But that is part of rugby and when I was first capped it was because of injuries to other people. You’ve just got to hope that when you are fit, you are playing well and the opportunities come.

“It was frustrating because I felt the summer went well and it was nice to get a run, especially in that 15 jersey, but you just have to keep plugging away.

“Since the autumn I have played every game for the Dragons and I have been feeling good. It was just unlucky that Brandon Nansen came through my elbow when he did!

“But it’s part of the game. Everyone has their injuries and I am lucky in that I have things outside the game to take my mind off it a bit more than other boys, who can lose their heads.”

That is, of course, a reference to his medical studies at Cardiff University.

Amos, who was head boy at Monmouth School, is five and a half years in with three and a half left.

“This year is different because I am not doing medicine, I am doing a neuroscience degree,” he said.

“It’s a bit more relaxed in that it is just lecture-based and I can do a lot of that in my own time because they put them up online and the learning is outside the group environment.

“With medicine it’s a bit different and the Dragons have been fantastic, I usually split my days with half a day in hospital and half a day in training.

“On my days off I will do a full day in hospital, while when I am with Wales I back off completely.”

Decisions lie ahead when it comes to specialising – “my mum is a GP and my dad is a forensic psychologist, I don’t want to do either of them! – and there may come a time when Amos has to make a tough call with his rugby.

“I am lucky in that I started rugby early – it’s my eighth season and I am 24,” he said. “With back three players our careers are maybe shorter than props.

“I will have a decision when I reach the end of my degree. Jamie Roberts, for example, stopped doing his medical studies and would have to go back a resit his finals if he wanted to become a doctor full-time whereas I might make the decision in due course to say ‘look I’ve had a good run at rugby and want to go into medicine now’, but that’s further down the line.

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, we will see and I am just focusing on the here and now.”

The here and now means rugby homework rather than medical books as Amos attempts to make an impression on Gatland and attack coach Rob Howley.

Halfpenny’s concussion means there is a vacancy in the back three with North, Williams, Josh Adams Steff Evans and Jonah Holmes the other options.

“I’ve been in this national set-up since 2013 and you do see people come and go. At the moment it is as strong as I have seen with back three boys fighting and others that didn’t get called up who are also playing well,” said Amos.

“It’s a tough place to be but the competition is good and we all just have to take our chances if and when they come.”

Penarth Times: WORLD CUP: Hallam Amos on the run against Uruguay at England 2015WORLD CUP: Hallam Amos on the run against Uruguay at England 2015

That is a necessity if Amos is to earn a place in Gatland’s 31-strong squad for Japan and the chance to add to the caps he won against Uruguay and England four years ago, when he suffered a shoulder injury in the famous win at Twickenham.

You do think about the World Cup,” he admitted. “I am sure it is on all the boys’ minds that they want to play well.

“There is that prize at the end of the year, but you never take anything for granted and this Six Nations is what has to be focus on now.

“It is such a big competition in itself that means so much to everyone here in camp and around the country.”

And after getting just 48 minutes against the Azzurri three years ago, Amos would love to be a major player in the next seven weeks.