FORMER Harlequin Tim Visser believes Louis Lynagh is the real deal for club and country but admitted the winger initially looked 'completely out of his depth' at his first Quins training session.
The 20-year-old wing, son of former Australian international Michael Lynagh, was selected in Eddie Jones' week-long England training squad last month and is expected to make his international bow during the Autumn Nations Series.
But Visser, whose final year in a Quins shirt was Lynagh's first, didn't believe he had what it took to be a top-class wing for Harlequins after a series of mistakes in training.
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"It's amazing, I remember him coming in a few years ago for his first training session, and he looked completely out of place," said the former Scotland international wing, who was in attendance as Wooden Spoon hosted its first national fundraising event since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, as teams from across Britain travelled to Bournville Rugby Club in Birmingham for Vets Fest 2021.
"We didn't know who he was or what his name was, but I was in a back three with him, and I remember watching him make a number of mistakes and thinking this kid has not got what it takes at all.
"And then seeing someone like that completely turn it around and become the player that he already has, the transformation is amazing to see.
"It's great that Quins believed in him and gave him the chance to prosper, and he's repaying them massively because he's been playing superbly."
Lynagh currently sits top of the try scorer rankings in the Gallagher Premiership, having crossed the whitewash five times this season, despite only playing three games.
And the youngster is a man in demand after Australia coach Dave Rennie said he still has hope of persuading Lynagh to play for the Wallabies.
Visser, who has 33 caps for Scotland and made 57 appearances for Quins, believes Lynagh is an example of how players can defy expectations if they have the right work ethic.
"He's still growing into his body obviously, and rugby has become a massively physical sport," added Visser, who joined 450 players from 15 teams across 13 regions playing in 37 matches at an event organised by Wooden Spoon in memory of 13-year-old rugby fan Olly Stephens, who was tragically killed near his home in Reading in January.
"There's been so much emphasis on players getting bigger, stronger, and faster, but the thing with Louis is he's probably not one of the fastest guys or the biggest guys, but you can see the impact he makes in his carries.
"He works hard, he drives his legs, and shows that if you have the will to do this, then you can do it; he's an excellent example."
VestFest21 â€“ Changing children's lives through the power of rugby. Register for next year at https://woodenspoon.org.uk/event/vetsfest22/
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