Three young guns to watch for in Six Nations

The man known as ‘Rees Lightning’ has landed like a bolt from the blue to star in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.

Three young guns to watch for in Six Nations

Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)

The man known as ‘Rees Lightning’ has landed like a bolt from the blue to star in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.

With 10 tries in 12 games this season, new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac couldn’t resist selecting the teenage tyro despite him being just 18.

Rees-Zammit might be tender in years, but the Penarth-born speedster stands at an imposing 6ft 3in tall and can run 100m in just over 11 seconds. Pivac has wasted no time integrating him into the senior Wales group with England and Eddie Jones sniffing around over his availability to the English cause.

Rees-Zammit’s talent is obvious yet we will soon find out if the youngest player to score a Premiership hat-trick can take another giant step and light up the international stage.

Ben Earl (England)

Eyebrows were raised after Eddie Jones revealed an England squad without a specialist No8.

Step forward Ben Earl, the rising Saracens star who looks set to use Billy Vunipola’s injury absence to disrupt perhaps the most settled back row in world rugby.

Comfortable at flanker or at the back of the scrum, Earl will add even more dynamism to a unit already blessed with Tom Curry’s athleticism and Sam Underhill’s no-holds-barred approach to the break- down.

A former England U20 captain, Earl lacks Vunipola’s carrying threat (but then again, who doesn’t?), but has a tireless defensive work-rate, is streetwise at the breakdown, and boasts the gas to make metres out wide.

Matthieu Jalibert (France)

It’s been a long road back to the senior France XV for Bordeaux star Jalibert after his international dreams were put under serious threat half an hour into his Les Bleus debut.

The then 19-year-old was making his mark against Ireland in the 2018 tournament opener before a serious knee injury stopped his promising bow in its tracks and kept him sidelined for a year.

But the mercurial outside-half is back to his best just in time for the 2020 campaign and looks set to play a key role in Fabien Galthie’s France revolution.

The 21-year-old could encapsulate Galthie’s vision for Les Bleus and will have defences on their toes with his running threat.

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