Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Darren Edwards admits centre Adam Hughes needs to bulk up in the RaboDirect PRO12 off season – but insists the centre has all the attributes to be a major force.
Centre Hughes burst on to the scene last season, giving defences a torrid time and plundering ten tries in the process.
However, the 22-year-old has only managed two tries in this campaign as his side failed to challenge for a play-off place and finished the season in ninth.
And Edwards claimed the break from rugby this summer would be the perfect opportunity to help Hughes develop his body and accelerate his progression to the next stage.
“Adam’s leg power is phenomenal but what we haven’t been able to do is develop his upper body,” he told the South Wales Argus.
“The depth of our squad has meant that he has had to play a lot of rugby and we haven’t been able to take him out of mainstream training for intense conditioning.
“We will do that but I would say that Adam already weighs in at around 101kg and certainly punches his weight.”
Despite having a relatively barren season under the posts compared to his 2010/11 RaboDirect PRO12 form, Hughes’ performances at outside centre have caught the eye of international selectors.
And having finished the season as a temporary fly-half for the Dragons, Edwards lauded the versatility as well as the talent of his young player.
“Adam has got all the attributes,” he said. “Somebody that has got his running ability in the outside channel plus his skill set is one for the future.
“We saw him start on the wing and everyone thought that he could just run, and run hard.
“That ability and pace made it clear that he could be a quality 13 but what we have seen since he moved into the centre is his distribution.
“He is very coachable and a very exciting talent.”