Wales expect England to target Louis Rees-Zammit in Six Nations clash
Gloucester wing has been key in his side's victories, scoring three tries in two games
Wales’ Louis Rees-Zammit is expected to be a target of England. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Wales expect to have a full squad to pick from with the centres George North and Jonathan Davies available again along with the wing Josh Adams and the back rower Josh Navidi. The fullback Leigh Halfpenny is still following the concussion return to play protocols.
“Louis has a tag on his head and we expect him to be targeted,” said the Wales forwards coach, Jonathan Humphreys. “There will be pressure on him but we back him to deal with anything that comes his way. He has just turned 20, is very mature and has grown up since the last Six Nations.
“He is well aware of the work-ons he has to do outside scoring tries and he is getting on with them. We have some real selection dilemmas this week and the meeting will take a lot longer than a few months ago. England are a world-class team and we expect the best version of them.”
Having overcome Ireland and Scotland, who were both reduced to 14 men when first Peter O’Mahony and then Zander Fagerson were sent off for making contact with an opponent’s head as they attempted a clear-out at a ruck, Wales are seeking the grand slam having beaten only Italy in the 2020 Six Nations.
“We know it is on the line, but we are not talking about it,” said Humphreys. “We understand how important the game is having won the first two, but what is essential is that we do not get too emotional. It is important we do not play the game today or tomorrow but on Saturday and we know that we are going to have to be a lot better. It will be a huge task to match England’s physicality.
“We keep reminding players about the ramifications of head collisions because of the huge risk of a red card and we work hard on it in training. We were advised on this before the tournament so have been aware of it from the off. We have to make sure we are not on the receiving end.”
Meanwhile, France’s chances of avoiding a postponement of their match against Scotland on Sunday have improved after the latest round of coronavirus testing returned no further positive results.
An outbreak among the tournament favourites’ squad has produced 10 Covid-19 cases, including the scrumhalf Antoine Dupont and the captain, Charles Ollivon. The head coach, Fabien Galthié, and three members of his staff have also tested positive.
Six Nations organisers are to decide today if the Stade de France match can go ahead, but the results of testing on Monday night point to an easing of the crisis.
France top the Six Nations table after two rounds following a comprehensive win against Italy and a narrow victory against Ireland, both away from home.