Louis Rees-Zammit scored a stunning try with his first touch to help Gloucester to victory over Northampton Saints in the Gallagher Premiership.
Having dropped out of the Wales starting XV ahead of the clash with England last week, Rees-Zammit’s immediate impact off the bench will certainly have sent a message to Wayne Pivac ahead of next Friday’s clash with France.
The 21-year-old had barely been on the pitch for 30 seconds, having entered the fray as a second-half replacement with Gloucester 27-14 down to Saints, before he made his mark on the match.
With the stadium announcer and Gloucester’s own Twitter account having not had time to announce his arrival, he did it for them by taking an offload and leaving the Northampton defence for dead to score.
That try would prove crucial in sparking the home side’s comeback at Kingsholm, with Gloucester eventually running out 35-30 winners.
It is the second consecutive week that Rees-Zammit has been in Gloucester’s matchday 23, as he returned to club duty when Pivac’s men headed to Twickenham and, of course, England-based players are always required to return to their respective clubs during a fallow Six Nations week.
Speaking about the decision to drop Rees-Zammit ahead of the England fixture, Pivac said: “It was a tough call for Louis to take, obviously.
“Everybody wants to be selected and are working pretty hard. For us, with this particular match, looking at the opposition and the way we think the game will be played, I think the experience of the other two, work-rate off the ball and those sorts of things, are really going to come into play.
“It’s a tough call on Louis but one that we think is the right call. He’s no different to any other player. He’s disappointed, obviously.
“He’ll be frustrated but I think if you look back to the first Six Nations, he didn’t get any game time, he went away, listened to what the coaches had passed on, worked hard and then had a very successful Six Nations last year.
“We expect him to go and work hard on his game and come back stronger than he is.”
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