Louis Rees-Zammit delivers speed warning to Wales' World Cup rivals
Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit believes he is definitely quicker than last season as he prepares to blast out of the starting blocks at his first Rugby World Cup. The 22-year-old has carved out a reputation as one of world rugby’s finest finishers, combining blistering pace with a box-office ability to score spectacular tries.
The sport’s biggest stage now awaits a player good enough to thrill a worldwide audience through his dazzling skill set. Asked to compare his speed with a year ago, Gloucester star Rees-Zammit said: “I would say I am even faster.
“I feel the fittest I have ever been, and I am just raring to go. In terms of numbers, I am definitely quicker than last season. Being so fit, it just allows you to repeat and repeat all day. Being able to do it once or twice isn’t good enough. I have got to maintain that and keep doing it.
“The (training) camps in Switzerland and Turkey lived up to expectations. They were the hardest things I have ever done. I feel so fit now. I am ready to perform, I am ready to play. We are all ready to go.
“We have got some very quick players – Rio (Dyer), Josh (Adams), the whole back-three, Mason Grady is rapid as well and the nines are very quick. We have got great pace in this squad.”
Fellow wing Adams has proved a source of inspiration to Rees-Zammit, who remembers watching as a 17-year-old while he excelled at the last World Cup in Japan. Adams’ finished the tournament as the top try-scorer with seven, a figure bettered only by three players in one World Cup campaign – Jonah Lomu, Bryan Habana and Julian Savea.
Adams’ 20 tries for Wales mean he is in the same try bracket as greats like Gareth Edwards and Gerald Davies, and Rees-Zammit is a huge fan. “Josh helps me massively, doing analysis and making me learn the game better,” Rees-Zammit added.
“He has done it all, he has been on a (British and Irish) Lions tour and he has been top try-scorer at the World Cup. He is an unbelievable player. I was 17 at the last World Cup watching him score loads of tries while I was at Hartpury College.
“He was unbelievable. He was the stand-out player at the last World Cup. To be able to train and play with him day in, day out is so special.”
Despite his age, Rees-Zammit offers considerable experience on the back of 27 Wales caps and a Lions tour to South Africa in 2021. “I feel quite experienced at such a young age,” he said. “Being on a Lions tour was amazing but being at a World Cup for your country is really special as well.
“I would never have thought I would have gone to a World Cup, so I am absolutely over the moon to have this opportunity. I have got to take it now.”
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