Cardiff Blues scrum half Richie Rees cannot wait for the start of the Rabo Direct Pro 12.
The Blues travel to the Scottish capital to take on Edinburgh in the opening weekend of the competition and Rees is looking to put the disappointment of being left out of the Wales RWC squad behind him.
“I think I had an idea in my head that maybe I wouldn’t be going to the World Cup after we came back from the first Poland trip and I wasn’t going back for the second trip.” said Rees. “Obviously it was disappointing because on the first trip it was all fitness and we hadn’t done any rugby training. I did pretty well in the fitness but I would have liked to have the chance to show what I can do rugby wise on the second trip.”
“However, I came straight back to the Blues and have been enjoying it since.”
With the Blues squad in full training ahead of the new season, Rees did not hesitate in getting involved, “The day after the Welsh squad got back from Poland the Blues players were having a team building exercise in Tenby, so I drove down and joined up with them and that was enjoyable.”
“It’s been going great here. The warm up games have gone well against Pontypridd and Bath and all the players seem to be enjoying it. I think it’s an exciting time at the Blues.”
“A lot of the youngsters are coming through well, I think with the youngsters progressing and the players we already have we should do pretty well during this world cup time. Obviously Dai was very good to me and I’m grateful for what he did, but Justin and Gareth are putting their stamp on things and the players have been given more responsibility.”
“I feel it’s probably the tightest we’ve been as a squad for a long time, so we are all looking forward to getting on the pitch and playing. Hopefully we will start strongly and Justin and Gareth will be given a chance to show what they can do.”
“Edinburgh also has a new coach with Michael Bradley joining them from Connacht so it will be interesting to play them first up. Murrayfield is never an easy place to go, although we have got quite a good record up there. They like to throw the ball around and Visser is obviously a big danger man for them.”
“We also have them in our Heineken Cup group again this year so it will be good to play them early on in the season.”
Despite being left out of the Rugby World Cup squad, Rees has not given up on his international ambitions and feels he still has a lot to give to the international squad, “I’d still like to play for Wales and think I have plenty to offer. I want to see Wales do well but at the moment I’m just concentrating on playing well for the Blues.”