Wales v All Blacks branded a ‘sham fixture’ and Rees-Zammit disappointed to miss out

Louis Rees-Zammit admits he’s disappointed to miss out on the upcoming Test with New Zealand, but insists there’s more to come from him in a Wales shirt.

The 20-year-old is set unavailable for the upcoming clash with the All Blacks due to commitments with Premiership side Gloucester, but will potentially be available for the rest of his country’s Autumn campaign.

Speaking to BBC’s Scrum V, the winger said: “That’s the game [New Zealand] you want to play in as a kid growing up. But unfortunately, I won’t be able to play.

“But there’s three big Tests after that and hopefully I’ll impress the coaches and try and get my name on the teamsheet.”

It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for Rees-Zammit, but he insists there’s plenty more to come.

“The World Cup is definitely one,” he replied when asked about his career goals. “Growing up that’s what you watch and dream of playing in. I’ve still got loads left to be honest. I’ve only played nine times for my country and I haven’t played a Lions Test, so there’s a lot more to come.

“I’ve got high expectations for myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do things and score tries.

Wales v All Blacks labelled ‘sham fixture’

The All Blacks are in Cardiff this week, after thrashing the USA 104-14, as they prepare to take on a depleted Wales side at a sold out Principality Stadium on Saturday.

It’s the first time New Zealand have been to Cardiff in four years and it was a fixture that the WRU did not struggle to generate interest for.

However, Wales will be shorn of a number of stars for the clash due. Because the game is being played outside the international window, England-based players like Dan Biggar and Louis Rees-Zammit will not be available.

There are also a number of injuries to contend with, meaning Wales face a significant challenge. The fixture has attracted much criticism and rugby writer Chris Foy is the latest to take aim in the Daily Mail.

“Wales won’t fold as easily as the Americans when they face the All Blacks on Saturday, but the sad fact is that Wayne Pivac’s side — missing a raft of regulars — have no chance of winning the out-of-window Test,” Foy wrote.

“It will be another sham fixture; an exercise in making money from a mis-match. As for the USA, their on-field ordeal won’t have done much for their hopes of staging the 2031 World Cup.

“The suspicion remains that they are only a potential rugby market in the sense of commercial gain, rather than mass public interest.”

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