Matthew Rees: Former Wales captain re-signs for Cardiff Blues

Matthew Rees
Hooker Matthew Rees played 60 times for Wales and won three Lions caps

Former Wales captain and hooker Matthew Rees has signed a new contract with Cardiff Blues.

The 34-year-old played for the Welsh region last season but was a free agent after his previous deal ended.

Rees, who played 60 times for Wales and won three British and Irish Lions caps, had been courted by ex-club Merthyr but turned down the Championship side.

Blues also confirmed the return of lock James Down, 27, who left to join London Welsh in July 2014.

Rees arrived at the Arms Park from Scarlets in summer 2013 but was diagnosed with testicular cancer that October.

Rees underwent treatment and returned to playing, making Wales' squad to tour South Africa in June 2014.

Blues head coach Danny Wilson said: "Matthew brings real leadership and vast experience to our squad. He will also be working closely with our young hookers to bring them on and develop them as players.

"James had a fantastic personal season at London Welsh and his stats in the Aviva Premiership were outstanding.

"He is a strong lineout forward and there is no doubt he returns to Cardiff Blues a better player.

"There was a lot of interest in James from clubs in both the Aviva Premiership and Top 14 in France.

"However, he is a local boy and passionate about playing his rugby for our region so we are delighted he is coming back home."

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