Rees to lead Wales against Wallabies
October 26, 2010
Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees will lead Wales out at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday week © Getty Images
Wales boss Warren Gatland has confirmed that Matthew Rees will replace the injured Ryan Jones as captain for the November 6 Test against Australia at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Ospreys forward Jones has been ruled of the game against the Wallabies with a muscle tear sustained in the Ospreys' Magners League meeting with Glasgow Warriors on Sunday. As a result, Gatland has decided to entrust Scarlets hooker Rees with the captain's armband.
"It's obviously a huge honour to captain your country and it's something that probably won't really sink in until we get to match day. To lead the side out at the Millennium Stadium against a side of the strength and stature of Australia is just an amazing thought," Rees said.
"I hope to be able to take it all in my stride and as a squad we are certainly looking to perform against the Wallabies and come away with the right result to kick-off our autumn campaign, and this Rugby World Cup season, in the right way."
The loss of Jones for their autumnal opener is a further setback for the Welsh, who will also have to make do without Ospreys fullback Lee Byrne. However, while Byrne will also definitely sit out the subsequent games against South Africa and Fiji, perhaps returning in time to face the All Blacks on November 27, Jones' fitness will be reassessed before the game against the Springboks.
Meanwhile, Wales have also confirmed that Cardiff Blues winger Leigh Halfpenny has damaged a ligament in his ankle, ruling him out for between three and four weeks. As a result, he has left the squad and been replaced by the Dragons' Aled Brew, who had been earlier drafted into the panel to provide cover for another injury victim, George North (leg fracture).
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