Scarlets captain Mattew Rees has revealed he wants to be Welsh captain in the Six Nations.
The 30-year-old hooker took over the captaincy for Wales’ autumn Tests when Ryan Jones was ruled out with a calf injury.
Warren Gatland was so impressed with Rees’ leadership that he kept faith with the Scarlets skipper upon Jones’ return to fitness.
Now 42-times-capped Rees insists he wants to keep the job for the Six Nations.
“I would like to be captain,” said Rees. “Hopefully, Gats is more than happy with me.”
“As a captain you have got to look to lead from the front. Whoever it is has to give 100 per cent.”
And Rees, who is part of an all-Lion Welsh front-row is relishing the opportunity of leading his country against England in the RBS 6 Nations opener.
“It would be great, playing at home and running out in front of a fantastic crowd against England at the Millennium Stadium,” continued Rees.
“It’s a great opening match for us to have in the Six Nations we couldn't ask for a better fixture to start it.”
But before that Rees will lead his region through a busy period that includes crucial Heineken Cup double-headers and festive derbies with the Welsh regions.
“It’s been a great month for me, captaining Wales, but it’s important to switch off from international rugby now and concentrate on the region.
“I might have been Wales captain but I’m the same as I have always have been and I'm looking forward to putting the Scarlets jersey back on.
“We’ve got some tough fixtures with the Heineken Cup and the local derbies, which everyone loves. It’s the Heineken this week with Treviso coming to us and we know how big the tournament is.
“From the players point of view, we want to make the quarter-finals because we've been disappointed with our last couple of seasons. It’s important we get at least to the quarter-finals.”