Wales flyer Louis Rees-Zammit happy to play ‘wherever they pick me’
Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit says he will play “wherever they pick me” following an impressive Test match switch to full-back.
The Gloucester wing had played there just twice before in more than 80 appearances for club, country and the British and Irish Lions.
But he took it to the role effortlessly, combining trademark attacking guile with defensive authority and prodigious kicking in Wales’ 20-13 Autumn Nations Series victory over Argentina.
With Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams both injured, Rees-Zammit stepped in, although he was quick to acknowledge Halfpenny’s assistance during the build-up.
“I will play wherever they pick me. So long as I can help the team, whether that is in attack or defence, I will try my best,” he said.
“All week, Leigh and I sat at the computers doing loads of analysis.
“The difference is in the back-field. You are constantly there, and with the kicking into the 22 rule now you can’t afford to let the opposition in your half.
“Myself and Leigh looked through everything, and I felt confident going into the game.
“I was aware of Argentina’s threats and of getting myself into position quickly so they weren’t going to be allowed opportunities.
“There is a lot of kicking these days, so there are kick battles which you have to stay in. But when the opportunity does come, my eyes light up.
“Against a team like Argentina they don’t give you that much space, so you have to try and play a bit of ping-pong with them and see who crumbles first.”
Halfpenny could be in contention to face Georgia next weekend after being sidelined because of a hamstring problem, so whether Rees-Zammit stays at full-back remains to be seen.
But he once again underlined world-class quality and gave Wales head coach Wayne Pivac another option as the World Cup countdown continues.
“I can play there (full-back), and I will play there if needed,” Rees-Zammit added.
“We were short on full-backs, so I said I would play there if required.
“I back myself, especially when I’ve got players like Leigh and others who have massive experience to help me.”
Rees-Zammit’s contribution was key to helping Wales bounce back from a 55-23 drubbing against New Zealand seven days earlier.
“We had massive heat on us. I thought the boys stood up well and really put in a defensive performance that we can be proud of,” he said.
“They were in our 22 a lot, and we went long phases where we stuck in there and we managed to win the ball back a fair few times.
“Our physicality just wasn’t good enough against New Zealand, and we had to put that right.”
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Happy to play anywhere….EXCEPT in Cardiff…..this is the kid who wanted Wales to play in London, last year!!!!!!!!!!
He won’t be saying that when he’s picked at hooker!
I played hooker once. Note the use of the word ‘once’.
I quickly got out and moved to the back row!
And so he should. What Louis Rees-Zammit should also do is to concentrate on is scoring tries whilst reminding his teammates that their performance is still below par being highly paid professional players who are lucky to represent their nation where most could only dream of pulling on the red jersey to run out in front of 75,000 screaming fans singing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau & Yma O Hyd.