Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has claimed that selecting Louis Rees-Zammit for the 2020 Six Nations would have been a mistake.
Rees-Zammit has been a major success for Wales so far in his burgeoning international career, scoring four tries in his first Six Nations as well as picking up a nomination for the player of the championship.
Despite the 20-year-old’s exceptional first season in test rugby, Pivac told The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast that he “couldn’t play” at the standard required just over a year ago.
🏉 4 tries
💪 Voted Player of Round 2
🏆 A #GuinnessSixNations Champion
Is @LouisReesZammit your Player of the Championship? 🤔
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 29, 2021
“He was unselectable in the first Six Nations . People were telling us that we should have played him but he couldn’t repeat speed. He was so unfit,” Pivac explained.
“He couldn’t play at this level of the game. He had some work-ons defensively and under the high ball. But the guy has just worked so hard. I wasn’t sure that he would but he certainly has.”
‘Now that those two aren’t together he’s working a lot harder’
Pivac has been highly impressed by the Welsh winger since he made his debut for his country, but admitted that the youngster’s life outside of rugby stopped Rees-Zammit from making his Six Nations debut in 2020.
The Wales head coach believes Rees-Zammit was being influenced by a “superstar” at Gloucester, who is no longer with the club.
🏉 The man behind the Welsh team that lifted the trophy 🙌
Wayne Pivac is our next guest 👊🥳 pic.twitter.com/jpvB26rHhx
— The Good, The Bad & The Rugby (@GoodBadRugby) March 30, 2021
“He’s a terrific guy to have in your side when you see the way he has worked. He was at Gloucester there with a superstar for a bit of a while, doing a bit of nightclubbing and that sort of thing.
“Now that those two aren’t together anymore he’s working a lot harder, let’s put it that way.”