Gloucester have been praised for tying 18-year-old winger Louis Rees-Zammit down to a long-term contract extension.
This comes after growing speculation that the teenager may be involved in Wales’ upcoming Six Nations campaign in some capacity.
No sooner did the winger reveal his intentions to play for Wales, quashing any lingering English hopes that he may play under Eddie Jones, that there was a race on between Wales and Gloucester.
Had Wales capped Rees-Zammit before he was given a new contract, he would have needed to move back to Wales at the end of that deal in order to be available for selection, as he would have under 60 caps.
However, he can now wait until the end of his new contract before moving back to Wales, assuming he is capped during that period.
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This is what players like Josh Adams have done. He was uncapped when signing a deal for Worcester Warriors, but joined Cardiff Blues at the end of his contract.
However, there are fears that Gloucester may have taken the same approach as the Exeter Chiefs did with Tomas Francis, who simply extended his current contract last season rather than being given a new one, meaning he can play in England and still represent Wales despite having under 60 caps.
Gloucester have been very savvy and very quick in signing Rees-Zammit up to a new long-term contract before he's capped by Wales.
It means he's eligible to play for Wales and still play for Gloucester for the duration of his contract – possibly longer depending on clauses.
— Haydn Davies (@haydn_davies) January 13, 2020
— Greeno (@MilldewOut) January 13, 2020
Such a smart extension for all involved. Means he can now stay at Gloucester for the next 5 or so years and still play for Wales. Had he not resigned before being announced in the Wales squad then he’d have to have left when his current deal runs out https://t.co/1CvEt1TqLx
— Xander Chevallier (@Xander_Chev) January 13, 2020
Had he not signed this new deal, it would have been bitterly disappointing for Gloucester to have lost a player of Rees-Zammit’s talents so soon after he burst onto the Premiership scene.
After brilliant December where the Wales under-18 international scored five tries and was named Gallagher Premiership player of the month, he brought his form into Europe last weekend, being named man of the match after a try in the victory over Montpellier.
Absolutely wonderful news!
Congratulations to those who negotiated this and to this young man who, in epic short time, has raced into loyal, passionate Glaws fans’ hearts & affection.???
— Caroline Phillips (@CMEPhillips) January 13, 2020
Smart business by Gloucester before he gets capped – let’s hope Wales get full access to him around training camps etc
— Rich Tidy (@HalfTidy) January 13, 2020
In light of the former Cardiff Blues youth player’s showing at the weekend, Gloucester needed to be swift to secure his signature with the Six Nations only weeks away. It is no surprise that they have been commended for securing the future of one of their most promising players.
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