Welsh wonder kid Louis Rees-Zammit can be a match winner for the British and Irish Lions should the tour to South Africa go ahead
That is the belief of Jonathan Davies after watching the young Gloucester wing’s stunning two-try performance against Scotland.
Wales legend Davies remembers how the late JJ Williams cashed in on his sprinter’s speed on the hard grounds of South Africa with the victorious 1974 Lions.
And he believes Rees-Zammit has the wheels to cause similar damage to Williams, who scored four tries in the Invincibles’ series win.
“Who knows if the tour will go ahead or not this summer, but right now we have to hope and assume that it will,” said Davies.
“And if it does, on the back of what Louis did at the weekend, he’s in everybody’s team. If it’s on the hard grounds of SA, he’ll do exceptionally well.”
Davies was at the microphone when Rees-Zammit went half the length of Murrayfield, chipped Stuart Hogg and beat the Scotland captain to the scoring touch.
“A star is born,” dual-code legend Davies told 6.5 million BBC viewers. “I think he’s played himself onto a Lions tour if they go.”
Three days on the dust has settled and Davies is no less effusive in his praise of a player who only turned 20 a fortnight ago.
He knows England are up next for unbeaten Wales. He reckons they will even be favourites in Cardiff on Saturday week.
But in Rees-Zammit he believes his old team have the hottest prospect in the championship.
“He’s an out-and-out finisher,” said Davies. “He’s got electrifying pace and he’s knows where the try line is.
“Some players have got the knack, some haven’t. He seems to have it. That second try against the Scots was pure gas.
“He just blitzed down the wing, total confidence in his speed. Yeah the bounce favoured him on the chip and chase but you make your own luck. It was a brilliant finish.”
Rees-Zammit has played 34 games for Gloucester and Wales since his first team debut for the Cherry and Whites as a 17-year-old.
“The way he finishes moves, the way he stands people up and goes round them, he’s the real deal,” Davies added.
“He still struggles a little bit defensively because he’s young. That will come. But he’s a natural finisher who took his opportunity with Josh Adams out and now keeps his place. Definitely.”
Davies acknowledges that Wales have got lucky with opposition red cards in their first two matches when they were under the pump.
“But they’ve shown a lot of dog, a lot of stomach for the fight,” he said. “England will know they’re coming up against a side that hangs on in there when their backs are against the wall”.