Rees wants to lead Wales into Six Nations
December 9, 2010
Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees wants to keep hold of the Wales captaincy for the Six Nations © Getty Images
Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees has expressed his desire to retain the Wales captaincy for next year's Six Nations.
The 30-year-old was handed the leadership honour for Wales' autumn internationals against Australia and South Africa when Ospreys forward Ryan Jones was sidelined with a calf injury. Jones was formally stripped of the captaincy following a disappointing draw with Fiji and Rees returned to the role for the final clash of the year with the All Blacks but it is unclear whether he will lead Wales out for their Six Nations opener against England in Cardiff on February 4.
"I would like to be captain," Rees told the Western Mail. "Hopefully, Gats [Gatland] is more than happy with me...As a captain you have got to look to lead from the front. Whoever it is has to give 100 per cent," he said. "It would be great, playing at home and running out in front of a fantastic crowd against England at the Millennium Stadium."
Defeat against the All Blacks meant that Wales finished their November campaign without a win and they can boast just two victories in their last 13 fixtures. However, Rees is confident his side can kick off World Cup year with a win against England. "It's a great opening match for us to have in the Six Nations - we couldn't ask for a better fixture to start it," he said.
But for now Rees is focused on his duties with the Scarlets - starting with back-to-back Heineken Cup clashes with Treviso. "It's a pivotal six weeks for the Scarlets," said Rees, who took on the Scarlet's captaincy in the summer. "It's been a great month for me, captaining Wales, but it's important to switch off from international rugby now and concentrate on the region.
"I might have been Wales captain but I'm the same as I have always have been and am looking forward to putting the Scarlets jersey back on. We've got some tough fixtures with the Heineken Cup and the local derbies, which everyone loves.
"It's the Heineken this week with Treviso coming to us and we know how big the tournament is. From the players' point of view, we want to make the quarter-finals because we've been disappointed with our last couple of seasons. It's important we get at least to the quarter-finals.
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