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Hammer: Rees will captain the Blues

21st August 2014

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett has confirmed Matthew Rees will captain Cardiff Blues this season as the countdown to the new campaign continues to gather pace.

Hammer jetted into the UK last week and has spent the last few days getting used to his new surroundings and the squad at Cardiff Blues.

The new man at the helm insists radical change will not happen overnight and spoke to the media for the first time since arriving this week to outline his long-term goals.

However, he did reveal that Wales international hooker Rees would once again be the man tasked with the captaincy of the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park outfit as Hammer looks to launch a new successful era at Blues.

“We are very early days, I’ve been here for a week, but I’m used to a way of doing things. I don’t plan to come in here and change everything just so I feel comfortable - I will end up with other people feeling uncomfortable. It has to be a slowly, slowly process with going about change.

“There are a few little things I’ve been working on and part of that is working with the coaches and the structure of the week. Looking at how we become more professional and our fitness levels.

“We did fitness tests today and we’re well up on where we’ve been in the past. But that doesn’t mean anything unless we transition it onto the field. That is the next part for us to work on.

“We’ve made it clear from the start that this isn’t come in and get things sorted straight away. We have a long-term plan and, in terms of getting it running how I feel a professional environment should run, it will take time. But that doesn’t mean we don’t prepare each week to win rugby.

“The attitude to work within the squad has been great,” he added. “Knowing the skill sets of the players here; that is still early days. There are some guys who I know are alright and others who have got a bit of work to do.

“I’m still getting used to the squad and the boys within it, I’m still getting to know the place and that is just how it is. It was always going to be like that. I’ve been here four days, but in terms of learning and understanding what the squad is, where the strengths and weaknesses are, that is starting to happen.”