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'That's really up to Wales': Gloucester update Rees-Zammit injury

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Gloucester boss George Skivington remains in the dark as to when exactly Wales’ Louis Rees-Zammit will be available to play again following his Christmas Eve ankle injury at Leicester. The lack of clarity regarding a potential return-to-play date has resulted in the youthful winger becoming a major doubt for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations, a campaign that new Wales boss Warren Gatland opens with the February 4 match at home to Ireland.

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What Skivington did say was that he has ruled out Rees-Zammit from Gloucester selection until next month at the earliest, the coach promising that he will endeavor to seek out a more informed update from the Gloucester medics so that he can provide better information when he next makes a media briefing appearance.

“There was a delay in getting the scans but they have all the information now,” explained Skivington at Tuesday’s Gloucester media briefing ahead of Friday’s Kingsholm clash with Saracens, the current Gallagher Premiership league leaders.

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“I’m being honest here: from my point of view I know he [Rees-Zammit] isn’t available to me until that Six Nations period and I’m sort of moving on and hoping that he will be available for some point of the Six Nations and beyond that. I have got so many things going on with other injuries and all the rest of it that it’s one of those I leave to them [the medics] and hopefully from that point of view, he will be ready for the start of the Six Nations.

“There is no date that has been given to me and whether that is because it is one of those injuries where it could kick on quicker – he is a young, healthy bloke and you’d hope he would recover as quickly as anyone – or whether it is a debate should he play this game or not, I’m genuinely not sure about it. I have got a feeling that I’m going to be asked this question a few times, so I best get well-versed and then throw a date out and you can all speak to Louis after that.”

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Asked to specify the exact injury that has ruled Rees-Zammit out of the Gloucester reckoning – threatening his Wales availability – and also why there was a delay in getting the problem scanned, Skivington added: “It was just because it was Christmas Eve when he got hurt. No one was available until Thursday (December 29) by the time when they got the scans done just because of that Christmas period.

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“It is an ankle injury. I think it went down as syndesmosis but that is a pretty vague injury. They can be long or short. Again, I haven’t asked for the exact details of it because I know he is not available to me (at the moment). Again, I’ll look to get the diagnosis in front of me for you all next week and then it can be put to bed.

“He is walking around at the moment, which is good news, but he is definitely not going to be back anytime soon. I haven’t got an exact date of return because it is going to be around that Six Nations period, so from my point of view I am just going to plan for him not to be here for a few weeks. I am not sure exactly what week of the Six Nations he will or won’t get ready for, but he won’t be playing for us for the next couple of weeks anyway.

“The medics are on top of it at the moment. They will tell me the timescale but I know he is not going to be here before the Six Nations, so therefore he is not going to be here for a little while. That is really up to Wales to work out if he is going to play for Wales.”

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