New Gloucester boss George Skivington has explained why wing wunderkind Louis Rees-Zammit started in the unfamiliar position of full-back last weekend while he attempts to finish the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season as the tournament’s top try scorer.   

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The uncapped Wales prospect was benched for Gloucester’s restart match versus Worcester, but he made a try-scoring appearance off the bench after new signing Jonny May was concussed early in that game at Sixways. 

Rees-Zammit then started last Friday versus Bristol at full-back and after the Gloucester defence couldn’t cope with a decisive first-half onslaught at Kingsholm, the 19-year-old has now reverted to a winger role against Saracens on Wednesday night. 

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His 14 starts for Gloucester before the 2019/20 league and cup campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic had all come on the wing under former coach Johan Ackermann, but Skivington claimed the expansion of the youngster’s horizons was no major drama. 

“It’s not necessarily a move to convert him to a full-back,” he explained at the club’s media conference reported by gloucestershirelive.co.uk prior to the trip to Allianz Park. “We are very fortunate in the back three players we have at Gloucester.

“There are a few top-quality players there and I expect that to be a real battle over this period and next season as to who ends up getting the starting shirts.

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“It’s just a string to his bow that would benefit him and he is only a youngster and the more you can learn by playing a couple of different positions the more he will hone his skills.”

Currently on eighth tries for the league season, Rees-Zammit is tied at the top of the Premiership’s leading try-scorers list with Bristol duo Ben Earl and Luke Morahan, with Ollie Hassell-Collins of London Irish and Wasps’ Zach Kibirige a try further back on seven. 

 

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