Wales: Senior players helped Louis Rees-Zammit bounce back after being dropped during the Six Nations

Date published: April 22 2022 - Dylan Coetzee

Gloucester wing Louis Rees-Zammit has revealed that Dan Biggar and Jonathan Davies were a great support when he was dropped from the Wales squad during the Six Nations.

The 21-year-old was left out of coach Wayne Pivac’s squad for part of the tournament and was told to return to his club to prove why he deserves to be in the Wales team.

Support from senior members

Despite experiencing the obvious disappointment of being left out, Rees-Zammit relied on experienced squad members for advice and was recalled for the squad shortly after.

“Getting dropped happens to the best, so I took those learnings because I talked to a lot of the boys in (Wales’) camp and they all said they had been in the same position,” Rees-Zammit said.

“They just said, ‘go away and prove why you should be in the team’. I tried to do that against Northampton when we played them at home, and I got back in the (Wales) 23 against France.

“That had not happened to me before, but to talk to the boys – all the experienced players – really helped.

“We found the team out, I wasn’t in it and I just talked to my close mates like Dan Biggar and Jonathan Davies – those players who have done it all.

“I had to go away and prove I could do it and take those learnings on board.

“They (Wales coaches) wanted me to try to get my hands on the ball more and work harder. They wanted me to get in the positions to get the ball by working off my wing.

“I went away, came off the bench against Northampton and got the ball in my hands after two minutes and scored, which was good.

“When I get dropped or play badly, I’ve just got to learn from it.

“So many players told me that the only way to get back in the team is to work hard on what you’ve been told to work on. That is basically what I’ve tried to do.”

Gloucester coach George Skivington commended how Rees-Zammit managed to deal with being dropped, and he continued to work hard.

“He has had a very fast-tracked career so far, and found himself on a British and Irish Lions tour at the age of 20,” he said.

“That’s not how most careers start off. It is usually a bit more of a slog to get to something like that – if you ever get to something like that. Most of us don’t.

“That Six Nations period was the first time he has had a real bump in the road. Being England-Wales and all the context around that, it was probably a bit of a shock to all of us.

“He was disappointed at first, but I was really impressed with his attitude. He came back, we had a good chat around it, and he just rolled up his sleeves.

“Everyone gets dropped, picked, dropped, picked, but when you are in the limelight like he is – one of the poster boys of the game – everyone knows when you have been dropped, so it’s quite a tough thing to deal with, and he dealt with it really well.”

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