Former Wales captain Jonathan Davies believes Gloucester’s teenage winger Louis Rees-Zammit is ready for international rugby.
Rees-Zammit is in line to be named in Wayne Pivac’s first Six Nations squad when it is announced on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old signed his first senior contract with Gloucester and has expressed his desire to play for Wales.
“He is ready, if you are good enough, you are old enough,” said Davies. “And he is good enough.”
As the contract is his first senior deal, Rees-Zammit remains eligible for selection for Wales, despite playing in England.
Dual-code legend Davies believes the youngster should be involved in Wales’ opening game against Italy on 1 February in Cardiff.
“He has been finishing tries and being getting involved in the midfield,” said Davies.
“If the guy is on form I can’t think of a better game to get him involved than Italy at home.”
Davies’ positive sentiments about the Gloucester back are shared by former England and British Lions wing Ugo Monye who has been watching Rees-Zammit regularly in the Gallagher Premiership.
“He’s class, he has ridiculous pace but also seems to have a good rugby brain,” Monye told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
“If I was Wayne Pivac, I would have Louis Rees-Zammit within the Six Nations squad, and just see how he is as a bloke and if he can make that step up.”
Other uncapped Wales players who could be involved are Sale prop WillGriff John, Dragons flanker Taine Basham, Cardiff Blues back-rower Shane Lewis-Hughes and Scarlets duo Johnny McNicholl and Steff Hughes.
Hughes could be asked to fill the void left by the injured Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies, while Saracens Welsh-qualified centre Nick Tompkins has also been linked with a call-up.
The ex England Under-20s centre qualifies through a Welsh grandmother and Pivac watched Tompkins help Saracens defeat Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium in the Champions Cup on Saturday.
Cardiff Blues centre Willis Halaholo has also been ruled out of the tournament with a knee problem and Owen Watkin is likely to be sidelined for at least the opening game against Italy.
Other options for the 13 jersey include the possibility of wings George North or Josh Adams being asked to play out of position.
Pivac also has to decide whether to hand Rhys Webb an international recall after the scrum-half has been cleared to play again for Wales.
Webb had been ineligible for Wales since the Welsh Rugby Union brought in a selection policy in October 2017 that meant players would not be picked if they had won fewer than 60 caps and opted to move away from Wales.
The WRU have confirmed earlier Webb will be eligible for immediate selection after announcing he will return from Toulon to re-join Ospreys next season.
“I would get Rhys involved in the squad but I would not pick him in the team yet purely because Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams have been playing exceptionally well,” Davies added.
Saracens prop Rhys Carre faces a disciplinary panel on Wales’ squad announcement day after being sent off for an alleged high tackle against Ospreys in the European Champions Cup last weekend.
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