The Lions winger sported a lightning bolt against South Africa A

The story behind Louis Rees-Zammit’s haircut

When Louis Rees-Zammit lined up against South Africa A last Wednesday, he was sporting a new haircut.

The British & Irish Lions 2021 winger had a lightning bolt shaved into the back of his head – a nod to his ‘Rees-Lightning’ nickname such is his speed.

By the time he was in action against the Stormers a few days later, the lightning bolt had disappeared, so what’s the story?

Well, it was all down to the roll of a dice.

When a member of the Lions tour party is fined, they have to roll a dice, with different ‘punishments’ depending on what number it lands on.

This year one of the numbers means the player concerned has to have a zero-grade fade haircut – and that is exactly what Rees-Zammit rolled.

Hamish Watson had suggested earlier in the week that adding the lightning bolt had actually been Rees-Zammit’s idea, but the winger dismissed that after the Lions’ 49-3 victory over the Stormers in their final warm-up match.

He insisted it wasn’t his choice to have the unique design, which had been shaved into his head by Prav Mathema. The Lions head of medical is also doubling up as the tour hairdresser having learnt a few skills during lockdown.

And the reason for Rees-Zammit’s fine in the first place? Losing a game of table tennis! There’s clearly no hiding from the Lions’ fines committee.

Still, the lightning bolt didn’t last long – and the bigger talking point against the Stormers was the second-half try he scored.

Marcus Smith launched an attack five metres from the Lions line, one of his trademark goosesteps opened up the Stormers defence and then the fly-half released Rees-Zammit down the wing.

There was lightning speed, but no lightning bolt in the hair.

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