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New Wales star Rees-Zammit to start Premiership derby for Gloucester

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Fresh from scoring the match-winning try for Wales in the Guinness Six Nations last Saturday at Murrayfield, Louis Rees-Zammit has been included in the Gloucester starting line-up for their Gallagher Premiership derby at Bath on Friday night.    


Rees-Zammit returned from international duty telling club boss George Skivington that he wanted to be involved ahead of his return to Wales for their February 27 Six Nations clash with England.  

Skivington said on Wednesday: “Zam is back training with us this week. The first thing he said was, ‘Let’s get into Bath and let’s try and beat Bath on Friday night’. That is a credit to him.”

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Jamie Roberts joins Ryan Wilson on the latest RugbyPass Offload
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Jamie Roberts joins Ryan Wilson on the latest RugbyPass Offload

Now Welsh wonder Rees-Zammit has been chosen to play and he takes his place in a Gloucester backline that also includes Scotland midfielder Chris Harris at centre and Italy scrum-half Stephen Varney on the bench as back-up to Willi Heinz.   

Lock Ed Slater is also back in the mix for bottom of the table Gloucester who had the threat of relegation removed last week when Premiership officials decided to run a 13-team competition in 2021/22.

“They’re not a bad team,” said Skivington of Bath. “They were in the top four last year, but they have not had the start they would have wanted, similar to us. They have been established for a good while and for them it’s just about finding their feet and getting a bit of momentum. 


“I expect them to be fully charged up for the weekend so it should be a good match. They have got threats all over the park and have a well-organised set-piece. They have got a good backline and Rhys Priestland runs it well so it is about how do you stop it and how you deal with it than anything else, but I know they are a good team.”

Wales back row Taulupe Faletau is one of two changes for Bath after their win at Sale, winger Will Muir their other switch.

BATH: 15. Tom de Glanville; 14. Semesa Rokodoguni, 13. Max Clark, 12. Josh Matavesi, 11. Will Muir; 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Christian Judge, 4. Josh Bayliss, 5. Mike Williams, 6. Taulupe Faletau, 7. Miles Reid, 8. Zach Mercer. Rep: 16. Jack Walker, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Henry Thomas, 19. Tom Ellis, 20. Ethan Staddon, 21. Will Chudley, 22. Tian Schoeman, 23. Jonathan Joseph.

GLOUCESTER: 15. Jason Woodward; 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Tom Seabrook, 11. Ollie Thorley; 
10. Billy Twelvetrees, 9. Willi Heinz; 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Henry Walker, 3. Fraser Balmain, 4. Ed Slater, 5. Alex Craig, 6. Jordy Reid, 7. Lewis Ludlow (capt), 8. Ruan Ackermann. Reps: 16. Santiago Socino, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19. Ollie Atkins, 20. Freddie Clarke, 21. Stephen Varney, 22. George Barton, 23. Henry Trinder.



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