Rees calls for loyalty from Scarlets teammates

Guinness PRO12 Editor

21 Feb 2012

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Scarlets captain Matthew Rees is set to take the lead yet again and sign a contract extension with the RaboDirect PRO12 club despite an exodus of players from their Welsh regions.

The former Wales captain, who is away on Six Nations duty, has been linked with a money-spinning move to France but hopes to pen a new deal before his contract expires at the end of next year.

The 31-year-old has seen international teammates James Hook and Lee Byrne move across the Channel to Perpignan and Clermont respectively but has called on his Scarlets troops to take a stand.

With huge money on offer in the Top 14, Rees admits the prospect of losing some of his side’s star players is alarming but has highlighted the progression made by Nigel Davies’ men in the past year as reason to stay put.

He told WalesOnline: “Hopefully, I can re-sign with the Scarlets. I have enjoyed my time there.

"I believe this season we’ve taken another step up the ladder and as long as we keep hold of the squad we have I believe next term will be a massive year for us in terms of getting some silverware.

“It’s a case of keeping hold of our internationals and making sure we deliver when we go back to the region.

“We have already seen a lot leave Wales, whether for England or France. It is quite frightening for players, really.

“We are working well at international level. We are doing right there, but the regions are an issue at the moment, especially when you start seeing your best players in Wales leaving.

“I think something needs to be done sooner rather than later to stop this from happening.

“Supporters want to be seeing the best Welsh players playing in Wales. You don’t want to be seeing them leaving to go elsewhere.”