‘I can go even faster!’ Lightning Louis Rees-Zammit worked on his speed and all-round game at US boot camp before scoring stunning length-of-the-field try in Gloucester’s comeback win over Wasps
- Rees-Zammit scored superb try to spark Gloucester’s comeback against Wasps
- Wales wing had taken a blow to the back and scored with a broken shoe lace
- He spent the summer with a sports performance coach in the United States
- Rees-Zammit wanted to work not only on his speed but his all-round game
Louis Rees-Zammit showed he has lost none of his trademark pace as he started the new season with a stunning length-of-the-field try in Gloucester’s comeback win over Wasps.
The Wales wing’s long-range effort at Kingsholm was all the more impressive given he had taken a knock to his back earlier in the game and the lace on his boot had broken.
Rees-Zammit, still just 21, has made a habit of scoring outrageous tries in his short career to date with Gloucester, Wales and the British & Irish Lions.
Louis Rees-Zammit scored a sensational length-of-the-field try for Gloucester against Wasps
It sparked a record comeback by Gloucester as they fought back to win 27-21 from 21-0 down
But he has also focused on improving other aspects of his game and this summer, travelled to the USA to work with sports performance coach Spencer Smith in Atlanta, Georgia.
‘I wanted to develop my game in terms of my agility and footwork and not just try and be a pace man,’ said Rees-Zammit, who has responded impressively after being dropped by Wales in the Six Nations.
‘He (Smith) is a family relative who is a performance coach and has got a load of contacts.
‘We just worked on my speed and my agility and change of direction at full pace. It is in the locker and hopefully I can show it in the games coming.
‘The coaches out there are quite strict, but they just want you to improve. That is why I went and I loved it. It brings a new dimension to my game.
Rees-Zammit went away to the United States over the summer to work on his all-round game
‘I am trying to develop all parts of my game; my defence, my attack, my high balls and my breakdown work. All the coaches are on to it which is great for me.’
Asked if he can get even faster on the back of his training in the off season, Rees-Zammit’s response will surely get supporters of Gloucester and Wales licking their lips in anticipation.
‘Yes, I don’t see why not,’ he said.
Rees-Zammit’s try helped Gloucester to a stunning revival against Wasps as George Skivington’s side overturned a 21-0 half-time deficit to score 27 unanswered points after the break.
It was the club’s best comeback in their Premiership history.
‘It felt like a long way, it was good,’ said Rees-Zammit of his effort which came at the start of the second half after Wasps spilled possession on the Gloucester line.
Gloucester scored four second-half tries though to give supporters something to cheer about in the opening game of the season
‘I am happy scoring in the first game of the season. I was trying to keep my foot inside my boot because my boot was broken. I ripped my lace in the first five minutes.
‘I tried tying one of my laces together. I managed to play the whole game with it so it was alright.’
In Rees-Zammit, Gloucester boast arguably the fastest player in the Gallagher Premiership and a player who gives them a real point of difference. That much was evident yet again against Wasps.
The Cherry and Whites narrowly missed out on last season’s play-offs, but started this term with a bonus-point win after overcoming one of their worst halves in Skivington’s time as head coach.
Gloucester’s Freddie Clarke scored his side’s fourth try to help seal victory on Sunday
Gloucester’s squad has also been forced to grow even closer together after the news their former lock Ed Slater had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease this summer.
Slater retired from rugby with immediate effect.
‘Everyone is so tight and all support to Ed really,’ Rees-Zammit said.
‘We know it is a horrible time for him, but we are all going through it with him. We can’t really say much more, but whatever he needs we are all here for him.
‘Not getting into the top four has brought us together. As it is, it is a big start to the season with five points and we just want to carry that on.
‘Obviously the first half (against Wasps) was pretty terrible, but in the second half we put a performance together we could be proud of.’