Rees to captain Wales

Scarlets hooker replaces injured Jones

Last Updated: 26/10/10 1:34pm

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Rees: named as Wales skipper

Rees: named as Wales skipper

Sky Bet

Wales announced on Tuesday that Matthew Rees will serve as captain in the first match of their autumn Test series against Australia on November 6.

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The Scarlets hooker, who has won 39 caps, takes over from Ospreys back-row forward Ryan Jones.

Jones will not line up against the Wallabies after suffering a calf muscle tear while playing against Glasgow in the Magners League last Sunday.

He will be reassessed after the Australia match to determine whether he might be able to return in time for Wales' subsequent matches against South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand.

Rees takes the role ahead of other potential candidates such as fly-half Stephen Jones and lock Alun-Wyn Jones.

"It is obviously a huge honour to captain your country, and it is something that probably won't really sink in until we get to match day," the 29-year-old said.

"To lead the side out at the Millennium Stadium against a side of the strength and stature of Australia is just an amazing thought. But I hope to be able to take it all in my stride.

"We are certainly looking as a squad to perform against the Wallabies and come away with the right result to kick off our autumn campaign and this Rugby World Cup season in the right way."

Halfpenny out

The Wales camp has also been hit by a further injury setback after wing Leigh Halfpenny was ruled out for three to four weeks with ankle ligament damage.

Full-back Lee Byrne must already miss the first three Tests after suffering a broken bone in his hand.

Halfpenny, who would have been a candidate to take over from Byrne in the number 15 jersey, will be replaced by Newport Gwent Dragons wing Aled Brew.

Brew was already training with Wales, providing injury cover for uncapped Scarlets wing George North, who is set to resume full training next week on his way back from a broken leg.

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