- Louis-Rees Zammit announced his intention to become an NFL player yesterday
- His stunning decision has sent shockwaves around the rugby community
- Despite this, he has still been given a prominent role in rugby’s Netflix trailer
Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit has been included in the trailer for rugby’s new Netflix documentary ‘Full Contact’ despite quitting the sport to pursue a career in the NFL.
Rees-Zammit announced his shock decision on Tuesday after ‘careful consideration’, with confirmation of his career switch coming less than three weeks before the Six Nations gets underway.
But the life-changing call has not stopped him from featuring in the trailer for Full Contact, which is due to launch on January 24.
The documentary, which has been put together by the producers of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, provides fans with behind-the-scenes access to last year’s Six Nations Championship, and Rees-Zammit has been given a prominent role.
The 22-year-old is seen running towards an England tackler within the opening seconds of the trailer, and is then jokingly asked by a team-mate in a separate clip: ‘So, what’s it like being golden balls?’
Louis Rees-Zammit has been given a prominent role in the new Netflix documentary ‘Full Contact’ trailer
He features in the trailer despite sensationally quitting the sport to pursue an NFL career
Rees-Zammit can’t help but laugh at the question, but it signifies how highly-rated the youngster was, having scored 14 tries in 31 international caps since making his Wales debut as a teenager in 2020.
Rees-Zammit also went on the British & Irish Lions tour in 2021, and played for Wales at last year’s World Cup in France where Warren Gatland’s side won all their group games before losing to Argentina in the quarter-finals.
He was expected to be one of Wales’s star players for years to come, but has now turned his back on the sport in a move that caught everyone, including Netflix, by surprise.
Gatland named his Six Nations squad on Tuesday, and admitted he had been caught completely off-guard by Rees-Zammit’s decision, having only received a call from the player shortly before he faced the media.
‘I learned it about an hour ago,’ he said on Tuesday afternoon. ‘I spoke to Louis probably about half an hour ago.
‘It’s a bit of a shock. Gloucester had contacted us and I spoke to George Skivington (club’s director of rugby) at about 12. Things have happened pretty quickly in the last 24 hours.
‘Louis said he had an approach on Sunday to go and do a training camp with the NFL. It’s something he’s always dreamed of having the opportunity to do. He slept on it on Monday, went to Gloucester, didn’t really think too much of it in terms of whether it would go ahead. He was told by his lawyers not to tell anyone.
‘The paperwork has been agreed and signed and Gloucester have agreed to release him in the last couple of hours. He rang me to let me know and give me that information, say thanks very much for his time at the World Cup and how he enjoyed it.
‘He said he’s 22 and he’s always dreamed of playing in the NFL. He feels if he doesn’t take that opportunity now, it might not happen again in the future. I wished him all the best. I’ve always been a great believer in players taking those opportunities that are presented for them. I said if it doesn’t work out, what are your next steps? He said he’d come back to rugby.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland admitted Rees-Zammit’s decision came as a shock, but wished the winger luck with his move to the US
‘He just feels there’s an opportunity for him and a time to do that. There’s never a dull moment in Welsh rugby! Gloucester are in exactly the same boat as us. They’d only just gone to the board. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster in the last couple of hours.
‘He’s made that decision. I want to wish him all the best, like I would with all players and coaches. I honestly hope it works out for him. If that’s been a dream of his, it’s going to be something that if he doesn’t take the opportunity, he’ll always regret it.’
It remains to be seen how much Rees-Zammit will feature in the documentary when it is released in full later this month, but Wales now have a major task on their hands filling the void left behind by one of their best players.
They begin their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on February 3.