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The impact of shock rugby exit for Louis Rees-Zammit for both club and country

The rugby world was well and truly rocked with the shock exit of Louis Rees-Zammit. 16th of January was the day we were all informed of Rees-Zammit’s decision to follow his “childhood dreams” of joining the NFL. But where does that leave his club and his country. Both Gloucester Rugby and Wales have lost their superstar.

We’ll start with Gloucester. In their ranks they are not short of international quality wingers. Jonny May and Ollie Thorley created a strong and competitive environment to ensure the coaches scratches their heads every week on a selection basis. With the departure of the Welsh flyer, this has made way not only on the pitch, but off it too! Whilst the Six Nations is underway, the Premiership takes a back seat for the time being. This means head coach George Skivington can look to recruit, something that he has addressed in a post-match interview against Sale Sharks.

“Hopefully there’s a lot of positive news to come out in the coming weeks. My week off will look very different to the rest of the guys as we are taking the recruitment and retention very seriously.” Skivington explained.

Where Rees-Zammit leaves that makes room for another high waged player to come in. Youngster Alex Hearle has been selected in recent games for the Cherry n’ Whites. He has impressed fans so far as he lit up the Premiership Cup and picked up a few strong performances. More experience for him will only strengthen his game and boost his confidence.

On a larger scale, Wales head coach Warren Gatland was left stunned after only having found out about the news two hours before the rest of the world knew. Wales are struggling with injuries and struggling form wise too. They definitely could have done without Rees-Zammit jumping ship. He was their player who could create anything from nothing. Often, it’s been the case that Rees-Zammit has been the player to get Wales out of trouble. One advantage that plays in Rees-Zammit’s hands is the fact that he is so young. Having just turned 23 this week, even if he spent four years over in the states and wanted to come back to rugby he will probably be in the physical peak of his life. From the sounds of reports around the grounds the news was well received by Gloucester Rugby and Wales.

How will he do though? We have seen a select few players attempt to make the switch to American Football, but little success came their way. Will Rees-Zammit just be another one of those ‘what ifs?’ For his sake I hope that isn’t the case. It’s a brave move for the young man to take a splash into a pool of unfamiliarity. I feel as though his physical attributes will aid him in the NFL and he is at the age where he could still do some growing, tweaking and recovering.

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