Rees keen to regain captaincy

Lions hooker Matthew Rees admits he has a massive couple of months ahead of him as he attempts to regain his Wales place and reclaim the captaincy of his country. [more]

Rees keen to regain captaincy

Lions hooker Matthew Rees admits he has a massive couple of months ahead of him as he attempts to regain his Wales place and reclaim the captaincy of his country.

Rees, who was a Test Lion in 2009, missed the recent World Cup with a neck injury having enjoyed a fantastic first season as Welsh skipper.

And while being handed the armband again isn’t his main priority after just a week back in club action, Rees would love to be given the honour again in the near future.

"I loved every minute of being captain of Wales and hopefully that comes up again in the future," said Rees, who saw Huw Bennett wear the No2 shirt in New Zealand while Sam Warburton led the team in his absence.

"That's down to Gats [Wales coach Warren Gatland] and it's his decision but hopefully I can get the captaincy back.

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"It's been a frustrating few months watching the Scarlets and knowing I should have been a part of the World Cup and leading my country into the World Cup, it's been tough.

"I need to take one step at a time making sure I get back to my best and everything else will fall into place. If I'm playing well and deserve a place in the squad then so be it.

"But my main aim is to get back to playing. I've got a massive couple of months ahead of me and I've got to get back to full fitness."

Rees made his return to rugby last Saturday as a second-half replacement in the Scarlets’ win over Ulster and the 30-year-old is hoping to feature against local rivals the Ospreys this weekend.

The Scarlets then begin their Heineken Cup campaign against former champions Munster before travelling to face last season’s beaten finalists Northampton in Round 2 and Rees is looking for big things in Europe this term.

“If you want to challenge for the Heineken Cup, you want to come through a tough pool to ensure you are ready for the quarters and so on,” added Rees.
 
“We haven’t had an easy group for a very long time, there aren’t easy pools these days, so we are used to it and are looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m confident we can do a job. We have plenty of experience and that will certainly be needed against Castres, Munster and Northampton.

“But we have a squad that can do something and it’s important that we deliver. For too many seasons we haven’t made that final grade.

“We have plenty of strength in depth and players that can express themselves in big games – that’s what it takes in the Heineken Cup.

“As far as I’m concerned we have the best backline in Europe. We have plenty of strength in depth there and the challenge is for the pack of forwards to provide a platform.

“But it’s all about doing the job on the day and, as much as we talk about it, we have to do it. We’re keen for success and if there’s a season to do it it’s now.”

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