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Rees focussing on finding Scarlets form and fitness

Guinness PRO12 Editor

1 Nov 2011


Matthew Rees celebrates his return to action for Scarlets after returning from World Cup duty

Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees maintains he needs to be firing on all cylinders for his club before he can contemplate a return to international rugby.


Rees made his comeback for the Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Ulster on Saturday after several weeks on the sidelines with a neck injury.

The games come thick and fast for the Scarlets with a mouthwatering derby clash with the Ospreys followed by theirfirst round of Heineken Cup matches.

And it is those games Rees is targeting – rather than Wales’ December international against Australia.

He said: “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.

"Injuries are a big part of the game and it's how you react and how you bounce back from it.

"I've got a massive couple of months ahead of me and I've got to get back to full fitness.

"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 just got to concentrate on these next couple of weeks in terms of the game on Saturday and the Heineken Cup.”

Rees’ neck surgery meant he missed the Rugby World Cup with Cardiff Blues flanker Sam Warburton taking over the captaincy responsibility in New Zealand.

Wales boss Warren Gatland is yet to make a permanent decision over who will keep the armband, but Rees made it clear he is not prepared to move aside for the younger man without a fight.

He said: “It's definitely something I want to try and put my name forward for.

"I loved every minute of being captain of Wales and hopefully that comes up again in the future.

"That's down to Gats [Gatland] and it's his decision. Hopefully I can get the captaincy back.

"But [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 can get back then there's no reason why I can't feature in that Australia game.

"He's going to be a great leader. He's shown that during the World Cup and he's done a great job and I'm pleased for Sam."