Louis Rees-Zammit fit and raring to go at World Cup
Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit believes he is “definitely quicker than last season” as he prepares to blast out of the starting blocks at his first World Cup.
The 22-year-old has carved out a reputation as one of world rugby’s finest finishers, combining blistering pace with a box-office ability to score spectacular tries.
And the sport’s biggest stage now awaits a player good enough to thrill a worldwide audience through his dazzling skill-set.
Asked to compare his speed with a year ago, Gloucester star Rees-Zammit said: “I would say I am even faster.
“I feel the fittest I have ever been, and I am just raring to go. In terms of numbers, I am definitely quicker than last season.
“Being so fit, it just allows you to repeat and repeat all day. Being able to do it once or twice isn’t good enough. I have got to maintain that and keep doing it.
“The (training) camps in Switzerland and Turkey lived up to expectations. They were the hardest things I have ever done.
“I feel so fit now. I am ready to perform, I am ready to play. We are all ready to go.
“We’ve got some very quick players – Rio (Dyer), Josh (Adams), the whole back-three, Mason Grady is rapid as well and the nines are very quick. We have got great pace in this squad.”
Fellow wing Adams has proved a source of inspiration to Rees-Zammit, who remembers watching as a 17-year-old while he excelled at the last World Cup in Japan.
Adams’ finished the tournament as top try-scorer with seven, a figure bettered only by three players in one World Cup campaign – Jonah Lomu, Bryan Habana and Julian Savea.
Adams’ 20 touchdowns for Wales mean he is in the same try bracket as greats like Sir Gareth Edwards and Gerald Davies, and Rees-Zammit is a huge fan.
“Josh helps me massively, doing analysis and making me learn the game better,” Rees-Zammit added.
“He has done it all, he has been on a (British and Irish) Lions tour and he has been top try-scorer at the World Cup. He is an unbelievable player.
“I was 17 at the last World Cup watching him score loads of tries while I was at Hartpury College. He was unbelievable.
“He was the stand-out player at the last World Cup. To be able to train and play with him day in, day out is so special.”
Despite his age, Rees-Zammit offers considerable experience on the back of 27 Wales caps and a Lions tour to South Africa in 2021.
“I feel quite experienced at such a young age,” he said. “Being on a Lions tour was amazing but being at a World Cup for your country is really special as well.
“I would never have have thought I would have gone to a World Cup, so I am absolutely over the moon to have this opportunity. I’ve got to take it now.”
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