The speedster on surprises, safaris and superpowers

Downtime with… Gloucester and Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit 

What was the off-pitch highlight of the South Africa tour? 

We did a little safari. We saw most of the animals, just not elephants. A few of the boys went on it and it was a good laugh.

What was the best animal you saw?

A lion. They’re big and scary.

Who are the jokers in the squad? 

Tomos Williams, he doesn’t stop rinsing everyone. Dillon Lewis, he’s pretty hilarious. There are a lot of people you don’t think would be funny but the one-liners they come out with are hilarious. Biggs (Dan Biggar) is actually really funny. We all rinse each other.

Any practical jokes? 

It’s always the same people who do things but I’d never snake on them! It’s things like hiding kit or hiding boys’ sliders or shoes, then they get really angry.

Do you have any nicknames? 

Everyone just calls me Zammo. Or Zam. It’s anything to do with my surname. I’ve not got any funny ones.

What about phobias? What are you scared of? 

I’m scared of a lot of things. I’m scared of spiders, I really don’t like spiders. And snakes are the worst.

What really annoys you? 

People who chew loudly. You’re sitting at a table and someone is chewing really loudly.

Do you have any superstitions? 

No, I haven’t got any. I’ve always believed that if you have none, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. The boys who put salt in their hand and throw it over their shoulder or things like that… Then everything becomes an issue.

What’s your most embarrassing moment? 

Can it be when I wasn’t born? It’s not that embarrassing but I was meant to be a girl, the scans showed that I’d be a girl, so when I was born and they realised, my mum started crying.

My dad was over the moon but Mum was fuming! They had called me Georgia and painted my room pink. They’d bought me girls’ stuff, girly coats.

Did they dress you in the girls’ coats? 

100%! And I didn’t have a name for two weeks. My dad’s middle name is Luis, although

he spelt it wrong on the birth certificate – his is spelt Luis and I’m Louis.

Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with and why? 

Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s my sporting hero. I’ve got a different rugby hero – that’s Shane Williams – but I love Ronaldo.

What would be your Mastermind specialist subject? 

Probably Manchester United. I’m a die-hard fan.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

To be invisible. I would say being able to fly but I’m scared of heights, so I don’t think that would be great for me. Being invisible I could prank everyone, I could go everywhere I wanted, sneak into clubs, listen to anyone’s conversations…

What’s your guilty pleasure? 

Chocolate. Actually, I’m more of a crisps man. There are so many types. I love Skips. They melt on your tongue and I could probably eat ten bags a day. I don’t but I could!

If you could be one of your team-mates, who would it be? 

The one person I’d want to be is Dan Biggar because he’s such a legend. He’s the nicest man you’d ever meet, a good family man, he loves his family, he loves the boys.

I wouldn’t want to be any of the forwards because I wouldn’t want to feel what it’s like to be in a scrum.

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests? 

Is this clubbing after as well or just a dinner party?

You can hit the club… 

Ricky Gervais. He’d actually be hilarious at dinner as well. My brother – we do everything together. And Kevin Hart because I could definitely rinse him.

Who would be the best dancer out of that four? 

Definitely not me!

If your house was on fire, what’s the one thing you’d save? 

People and pets are safe. I was going to say my dog. My PS5, maybe a TV… There are a lot of things thinking about it. My first cap.

I would probably choose something meaningful but I can’t think what that one thing would be right now.

What would you like to achieve outside of rugby? 

I want to be a billionaire.

Any thoughts on how you’d do that?

Yes, but they can’t be told. No, I don’t have a clue – I’m only 21.

Do you have any surprising hidden talents? 

I probably do but I can’t think of them. I tend to be more spontaneous, so I don’t have one (party trick) that I turn up with. But if someone asked me to do something…

This article originally appeared in Rugby World magazine’s September 2022 edition.

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