Louis Rees-Zammit can still be proud of his breakthrough season – even if his Six Nations hopes with Wales are undermined through injury.
The 18-year-old – who broke into Wayne Pivac’s squad for the Six Nations last week – has been applauded by his Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann at their end of a European campaign that has thrown doubt over his fitness for Wales.
Rees-Zammit damaged his ankle and had to be helped off the field during his side’s 35-14 defeat at Toulouse at the weekend and faces an anxious wait for scans to reveal the full extent of the injury.
But Ackermann said: “That’s the nature of the game. He can be proud of what he’s achieved so far and he mustn’t let that get him down.
“We’ve all been in that situation in the past where you’re close to something big and an injury comes around but that’s part of his growth now. Whatever the outcome he can build on what he’s achieved and opportunities will still come.
“Let’s hope it’s not too bad and he can still, if need be contribute there.”
Louis Rees-Zammit is among five uncapped players in Wales’ 38-man Six Nations squad
The 18-year-old has starred for Gloucester this season ✨pic.twitter.com/0otRMyaG68
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 15, 2020
The winger went off injured in Gloucester’s Heineken Champions Cup Pool Five game at Toulouse after scoring his 10th try of the season at the start of the game.
Rees-Zammit received treatment on the pitch earlier in the half but carried on before pulling up again five minutes later when jumping in an attempt to collect a cross-field kick and went off in the 38th minute.
The teenager earned his first senior Wales call-up last week after a sensational debut season in the Gallagher Premiership in which he has scored 10 tries in 12 games in all competitions and earned his first club contract.
He was due to meet up with the squad on Monday but the injury could put his part in the Six Nations in doubt.