Louis Rees-Zammit ‘excited’ for Jonny May showdown

Date published: February 15 2021

Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit is excited by the prospect of sharing the Six Nations stage with his fellow box-office entertainer, England finisher Jonny May.

The Gloucester team-mates are set for top billing when the Welsh host their bitter rivals in a fortnight’s time, having already left a lasting impression on this season’s tournament.

Rees-Zammit has scored three tries in two games, including a brilliant solo touchdown that successfully completed mission improbable at Murrayfield as Wales fought back from 17-3 adrift to beat Scotland by a point.

The Wales wing’s show-stopping performance came just a few hours after England speedster May collected his 32nd Test try, a memorable acrobatic effort that took him second on England’s all-time list behind Rory Underwood.

And among the many mouth-watering head-to-head battles in store at the Principality Stadium, Rees-Zammit versus May is likely to set pulses racing like no other.

A good show

“I train with him every day and learn a lot from him,” Rees-Zammit said.

“It’s going to be interesting to actually play against him. I did in the autumn, but he wasn’t the opposite winger on that occasion.

“It is a bit different this time. It should be a good show. I am sure Jonny will say he is excited to play against me, and I am the same.

“Obviously, it’s a massive game. The boys will be absolutely buzzing, and we will go all guns blazing for that game.”

Victory for Wales – they have beaten England seven times from the last 10 meetings in Cardiff – would see them win the Triple Crown ahead of away matches against Italy and France next month.

And 20-year-old Rees-Zammit’s spectacular arrival on the international scene has given Wales boss Wayne Pivac another destructive weapon among three-quarter options that also include George North, Liam Williams, Josh Adams and Jonathan Davies.

“When I first came into camp for the last Six Nations it was a shock, even in training,” added Rees-Zammit, who only made his Gloucester debut in April 2018.

“Obviously, I didn’t play, but in training I was blowing after five minutes! I’ve worked with the strength and conditioning squad and all the management, and I am a lot fitter now.

“The intensity is a lot different at international level, but it is similar players.”

Rees-Zammit’s Murrayfield masterclass left television pundits like Jonathan Davies and Jeremy Guscott enthusing about his quality, which was underlined by a stunning second try 10 minutes from time.

“I was calling for the ball nice and early as I saw there was a lot of space on the outside,” he said.

“Thankfully, Willis (Halaholo) gave it to me and I tried to use my gas to get on the outside of their winger.

“I did that and then saw there was no back-field (cover), which is always nice to see. It gives you that opportunity to put it (kick) through and try and get the bounce. It bounced up lovely for me.”

Wales will now target a fifth win from six Tests – a stark contrast to last year’s run of six successive defeats – when England come calling.

“We are nowhere near the finished article,” Rees-Zammit added.

“We are not overly happy with our performances in the first couple of weeks, so we’ve got a lot of work-ons. We will take that into next week and the week after, building to England.”