Rees hoping for Wales debut
Scrum-half ready to shine on international stage
By Rachel Griffiths. Last Updated: 26/01/10 4:52pm
Rees: Seeking international success
Richie Rees insists he is ready to make his mark on the international stage for Wales at Twickenham next week.
"I have waited a long time for the chance. Hopefully, I will be given that opportunity and I will take it"
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The 26-year-old could be the surprise solution to Wales' scrum-half woes after climbing from effectively fifth choice following a superb season with Cardiff Blues.
However, Swansea-born Rees must see off competition from Gareth Cooper and Martin Roberts if he is to secure a spot in Warren Gatland's starting XV for the RBS 6 Nations opener against England.
Wales approach the clash without injured British and Irish Lions scrum-halves Mike Phillips and Dwayne Peel, and although almost half of Rees' Blues outings have been off the bench, his performances of late suggest he is a strong contender for the vacant number nine jersey.
"I feel this is my time," said Rees. "I have waited a long time for the chance. Hopefully, I will be given that opportunity and I will take it.
"There are some quality scrum-halves in Wales and you just have to bide your time, keep doing what you are doing and hopefully the breaks will come your way.
"Mike Phillips is probably one of the best scrum-halves in the world at the moment, and you just have to look at the quality of Dwayne Peel and the experience he has had.
"Gareth Cooper came to the Blues this season and he is a good player, but everyone wants to start in their position for their region and that has been my focus.
"You just have to keep going. If you stop believing and wanting to play for Wales, then you might as well stop, so I never feared the call-up would not come.
"As soon as you want to stop playing at the highest level it is time to quit. I never had the moment of doubt, and I suppose I always believed it would happen."
Rees, whose career has taken him from Dunvant to the Ospreys, then London Irish and now the Blues, admits realising his international ambitions would fulfil a longstanding dream.
"As a scrum-half growing up in Wales, it would be the ultimate honour to start against England at Twickenham," he added.
"But I would not be able to put it into words until I have experienced running out wearing the Wales jersey."