As clubmates at Gloucester, Louis Rees-Zammit and Jonny May are intimately familiar with each other’s work and the Welsh wing wizard is relishing the upcoming showdown with his English counterpart.
Wales welcome England to Cardiff in Round 3 of the Guinness Six Nations with their Grand Slam hopes still alive after narrowly beating Ireland and Scotland in the opening two weeks – with both opponents having a man sent off during the game.
Rees-Zammit has been one of the shining stars of the 2021 Championship, with the 20-year-old sensation scoring a try against Ireland and then two more against Scotland in a Player of the Match display, including an exquisite solo score from a chip over the top.
Meanwhile, May took sole possession of second spot on England’s all-time try-scoring list with his 32nd international dot down against Italy in Round 2 and the young Welshman is eager to test himself against his club teammate on the biggest stage.
“I train with him [May] every day and learn a lot from him. It’s going to be interesting to actually play against him,” said Rees-Zammit.
“I did in the autumn [when England won 24-13 in Llanelli during the Autumn Nations Cup], but he wasn’t the opposite winger. It’s a bit different this time and it should be a good show – I’m sure Jonny will say he’s excited to play against me, and I’m the same.
“We’ve got a massive game against England and then have Italy and France away. They’re going to be two big Tests as well.
“We’re going to be as motivated as ever to go into that game and try and get a win. The boys will be absolutely buzzing and we’ll go all guns blazing and, hopefully, we put on a performance that gets a result.
“It helps getting the first two wins, but by no means does that win you the trophy. It’s head-down now, back to training on and then put in a performance against England.”
Rees-Zammit only made his international debut against France in October and is yet to hit double figures in international caps.
Yet his dazzling performances during the opening two rounds of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations have propelled him into the limelight, with the likes of legends-turned pundits Jeremy Guscott and Jonathan Davies declaring that a star was born during the dramatic 25-24 victory over Scotland.
“I turned my phone on for a split second [after the game], and it was going mad! I’m not focussed on that, though, I’m enjoying the win with the boys,” added Rees-Zammit.
“We’ve worked so hard as a group to try and get a performance and wins. We know it wasn’t pretty, but all that matters is getting the five points.”