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Rio Dyer explains inspiration he has taken from Louis Rees-Zammit

By PA
(Photo by Ian Cook/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Rio Dyer has taken inspiration from fellow Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit and his rapid emergence into becoming a world star. Dyer has already matched the Gloucester speedster on two counts for Wales – scoring a try on his full Test debut and touching down in his first international home game.

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The 22-year-old’s blistering first-half finish provided a rare Wales highlight during their 55-23 defeat last Saturday against opening Autumn Nations Series opponents New Zealand. While British and Irish Lion Rees-Zammit could not add to his eight Wales tries, a prodigious work rate on and off the ball meant he and Dyer challenged New Zealand’s defence.

With a combined age of just 43, the pair could find themselves in harness for next year’s World Cup among Wales’ exciting back-three resources that should also include players like Josh Adams and Liam Williams. “When Louis was breaking through, I was at the Dragons looking on with Wales,” Dyer said.

“He is roughly the same age as me and I would look at what he was doing to better his game, to stay in the squad and what I could do. You take what they are doing and try and put it into what you want to be. A load of coaches have told me to always just back myself, no matter what. It won’t always come off, but to just keep going and keep going, and something will pay off in the end.”

Dyer needed just 25 minutes to open his Wales try account, finishing sharply after receiving a defence-splitting pass from centre Nick Tompkins. It highlighted an impressive introduction to the international arena, continuing his eye-catching regional form for the Dragons. “I just saw the gap open up and took my opportunity,” he added.

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“It was going through my head, knowing I was going over the line for my first try on my first cap. It was pretty surreal, but I enjoyed it. I think the day after the game you realise what you have done when you see stuff on Instagram and things and realise it is actually you. I couldn’t have wished for anything more. I’ve worked hard. I’ve had steps back, but I just keep going and all I try to do is become a better player.”

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Wales continue their autumn series by tackling Argentina at the Principality Stadium, with head coach Wayne Pivac due to name his team on Thursday. Adams, who is understood to have recovered from a hand injury that ruled him out against New Zealand, could start at full-back with Leigh Halfpenny and Williams both injured.

Gareth Anscombe filled that position last weekend, but he now looks set to revert to fly-half, while a back-row reshuffle is guaranteed. Flanker Tommy Reffell is sidelined because of a rib problem, meaning a likely switch from blindside to openside for captain Justin Tipuric, with Christ Tshiunza or Dan Lydiate starting in the number six shirt.

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