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'That cost us the series' - Rees-Zammit criticises Warren Gatland's Lions tour

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Wales winger Louis Rees-Zammit has gone on record that he felt Warren Gatland got the British and Irish Lions tactics wrong in South Africa.

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The Lions lost the series 2 – 1, despite beating the world champions in the opening Test in Cape Town, and the Gloucester winger has vented his frustration about the direction the tour took. Scotland’s Finn Russell and Ireland’s Iain Henderson had previously derided the Lions’ kick and contest tactics and now the speedster had added his name to the list of aggrieved ‘dirt trackers’.

In an interview with The Guardian, Rees-Zammit said his style of play didn’t fit Gatland’s vision for how the Lions should play the Test series.

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“I don’t want to be the b***h but I just thought we had the wrong gameplan, to be honest. If we’d played a bit of rugby I think we could have given them a better test but we ended up falling into their gameplan and that cost us the series,” Rees-Zammit told Robert Kitson. “I obviously wasn’t suited to the gameplan they went with. If we’d played more attacking rugby I’d like to think I’d have been in with a chance but they wanted physicality.

“It was ‘who can kick more?’ That’s the last thing I wanted. I wanted ball in space, which was exactly what Finn Russell wanted as well.

“I personally think we could have played any gameplan. We had wingers with pace, we had wingers with physicality, we had centres with pace and we had a range of 10s who could have done anything.

“That was probably the worst bit. Everyone thought we could have done a bit more in terms of playing. You heard it from fans and people who weren’t there.

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“They just wish we’d played a bit more rugby, as opposed to sitting back and trying to play their game. We tried to stick with our plan but it didn’t end up working.”

The 20-year-old had previously told RugbyPass of his frustrations on tour, referring to himself as among the ‘bin juice’ who didn’t get a chance in the Test series.

 

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