Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit is expecting to be ‘targeted’ by England in Six Nations clash, admits forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys – but says young wing has a ‘great temperament’ to deal with any aerial assault
- Wales host rivals England in the Six Nations on Saturday afternoon in Cardiff
- Louis Rees-Zammit has been in electrifying form for Wales on the wing so far
- The 20-year-old is likely to be targeted by England with multiple high kicks
Louis Rees-Zammit is backed to cope with an aerial bombardment from the English on Saturday as the young flyer is set to be targeted by kicks.
The 20-year-old, who has scored three super tries in two Tests so far this tournament, is on Eddie Jones’ hit list for the Cardiff game.
But the Gloucester winger is ready to handle a barrage, according to those in the Welsh camp.
Louis Rees Zammit (right) has been backed to deal with any aerial bombardment by England
‘He’s great, just turned 20, very mature, and you can see how much he has grown up from the last Six Nations to this one,’ said forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys.
‘He is well aware of the work-ons – the amount of stuff he has got to do outside of scoring tries – and he is working very, very hard at doing that. We are seeing the flourishing of that.
‘Any threatening player is going to come with a huge tag on top of his head, so we are expecting, among other players, to be targeted.
‘Louis has made massive improvements in his game, and he knows a lot of those English players, so with that comes a huge amount of pressure, but he has got a great temperament and we back him to deal with anything that comes his way.’
The Welsh have some huge selection calls to make having declared a ‘clean bill of health’ aside from Tomos Williams who was always expected to miss the England game with hamstring trouble.
Wayne Pivac needs to decide who to pick in the centres out of Jonathan Davies, George North, Johnny Williams, Willis Halaholo and Owen Watkin who are all fit.
He has been in scintillating form for Wales – scoring tries in wins over Ireland and Scotland
And out wide must consider whether Josh Adams is ready to start after his Covid bubble breach ban. Leigh Halfpenny is still going through head-injury checks but is expected to be ready too along with Josh Navidi.
‘The selection meetings have been a lot longer than they were a couple of months ago,’ added Humphreys.
‘There are some really difficult discussions going on about the combinations but, for us, that’s very positive.’
On the English, Wales are up for a battle.
‘They’re a world class team,’ said Humphreys.
Johnny Williams (centre left) is one of five centres battling for a spot in Wales’ midfield
‘A couple of months ago, they were winning the Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup so we’re expecting a huge physical challenge.
‘Gethin Jenkins has been talking a lot about the collisions in these games, they’re huge in dictating the outcome. We understand the power they have with those ball-carriers and what we need to do in order to win this game.
‘We’re expecting the very best version of England.’
At prop Wyn Jones has forced his way into Lions contention after two strong showings, and Humphreys reckons he has a shot at the squad if he bests 2017 tourist Kyle Sinckler.
‘Wyn’s been excellent,’ he said.
‘This weekend is a massive game, he’s coming up against Kyle Sinckler, a very good front-row, so if he goes well and we go well as a team then a lot of people are going to have a chance for the Lions.’
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