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Neil Jenkins hails 'awesome' Wales captain Matthew Rees

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Matthew Rees 'jumped' at Wales captaincy chance

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins says new skipper Matthew Rees will do his country proud in the autumn Tests.

"He has developed into an awesome player for Wales and the [British and Irish] Lions," said the ex-fly-half.

"This is a fantastic achievement for him and fully deserved. If he plays as he normally does, he will be fine."

Rees, 29, was named as his country's 128th captain when last season's leader Ryan Jones was ruled out of the 6 November Test against Australia.

The Ospreys forward has a torn calf, Scarlets skipper Rees taking the armband ahead of other leading contenders like Alun Wyn Jones, Stephen Jones, Gethin Jenkins and Martyn Williams.

It is the latest in a series of strides forward for the former Celtic Warriors star from Tonyrefail.

I think captaining the Scarlets has brought me on as a player, and I am looking forward to the job in hand

Matthew Rees

Rees, who has 39 Wales caps to his name, was something of a surprise choice for last year's Lions tour to South Africa.

But he made a major impact when he came off the bench in the first Test, then started the next two games against the Springboks in the tourists' battling series defeat.

The 6ft, 17st 2lbs front-rower is now firmly established as one of Wales coach Warren Gatland's senior players, and his leadership experience has been built since taking over the Scarlets captaincy at the start of this season.

"To be honest, it hasn't sunk in yet, I am sure it will take a few days," said Rees, who made his Wales debut on the 2005 summer tour against the USA.

"I think captaining the Scarlets has brought me on as a player, and I am looking forward to the job in hand.

"The most important thing is leading up-front, being quite vocal on the pitch and taking control of certain situations.

"I hope to be able to take it all in my stride."

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see also
Wales select Warburton at flanker
04 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Hook happy to fill Wales 15 shirt
26 Oct 10 |  Welsh
Scarlets hand captaincy to Rees
13 Aug 10 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby captains
26 Oct 10 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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