Rees-Zammit in race against time to be fit for Wales opener

Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit faces a race against time to be fit for the Six Nations opener at home to Ireland next month.

The 21-year-old wing suffered an ankle injury during Gloucester's English Premiership loss away to Leicester on Christmas Eve.

That has left him doubtful for the Cardiff clash against Ireland on February 4 -- the first game of Warren Gatland's second spell as Wales coach.

Rees-Zammit is now set to miss domestic and European fixtures against Saracens, Leinster, Bordeaux-Begles and Exeter this month.

"He is walking around at the moment, which is good news, but (he) is definitely not going to be back any time soon," said Gloucester coach George Skivington.

"I have not got an exact date of return because it is going to be around that Six Nations period.

"From my point of view, I plan for him not to be here for a few weeks.

"I am not sure exactly what week of the Six Nations it is that he will or won't get ready for, but he will not be playing for us in the next couple of weeks anyway.

"I just know he is not going to be here for the Six Nations, and therefore it's up to Wales to work out whether he is going to play for them."

Rees-Zammit has won 22 Wales caps and his attacking skill saw him win selection for the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

Skivington added: "I am being absolutely honest from my point of view. I know he is not available for me until that Six Nations period, and I am moving on.

"I am hoping he will be available for some point of the Six Nations and beyond that. I have so many things going on with other injuries and people, and I leave it to others.

"Hopefully he will be ready for the start of the Six Nations, but there is no date been given to me.

"Whether it is because it is one of those injuries where it could kick on quicker -- he is a young healthy bloke, and hopefully he recovers as quick as anybody -- or whether it's a debate (about) should he play this game or not. I am genuinely not sure about it."

After the Ireland game, Wales face Scotland in Edinburgh seven days later before hosting England on February 25.

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