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'Will break every record': Louis Rees-Zammit 'must start' tests

By Sam Smith

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It didn’t take long for Welsh wonderkid Louis Rees-Zammit to make an impact in his debut for the British & Irish Lions, scoring a try after just three minutes against the South African Lions.

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The 20-year-old showed rapid pace to outrun everyone to grab a chip kick in behind from Chris Harris, slipping out of the last cover tackle to race around and score under the posts to open the Lions scoring.

The immediate impact continued Rees-Zammit’s breakout 2021 year after starring in the Six Nations for Wales earlier in the season.

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Welsh fans were giddy about the prospects of an all-Welsh back three for the test series, with many certain that Rees-Zammit had secured his place on the right flank after his performance.

One fan wrote ‘the second name on the test team sheet already known’ and wished everyone else good luck fighting over the over wing position. Another said it would be a ‘travesty’ if he doesn’t start, given his talent.

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Rees-Zammit is in a battle for a wing berth against Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson and Josh Adams, while Elliot Daly and Liam Williams are always options.

Daly started all three tests against New Zealand on the left wing for the Lions four years ago, while Williams featured on the left wing for Wales during the Six Nations.

His Welsh teammate Adams is also in hot form, he couldn’t be stopped on his way to four tries on the opposite wing. Adding to his score against Japan, Adams has undeniably the finishing touch with five tries already.

Speaking before the match on Rees-Zammit’s selection, head coach Warren Gatland said that he wanted to see his finishing power and speed.

“He’s been a bit like a sponge, picking things up, the players are talking to him, giving him lots of encouragement,” Gatland said.

“We know how exciting he is on attack.

“He is working hard on those [defence] aspects of his game.

“Hopefully we can give him some ball and see that finishing power and prowess that he has and show off some of that speed and ability to score tries.”

He certainly succeeded in showing Gatland his try-scoring ability as the Lions selectors look to narrow down their test side.

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'Will break every record': Louis Rees-Zammit 'must start' tests

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