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It's massive to have Premiership top three

10th January 2019

Matthew Rees admits it is "massive" for the Cardiff Blues region to boast the top three of the Principality Premiership.

The popular hooker combines his playing duties with Wales’ Capital Region with the role of forwards coach at Pontypridd.

Ponty are currently sandwiched between runaway leaders Merthyr, who sit eight points clear, and Cardiff RFC, who are just a point behind in third.

The Blue & Blacks recorded victories over both regional counterparts over the Festive periods to compact the top three and Rees believes the form of the three teams is both a boost to the Blues and testament to the regional pathway.

He said: “It’s great to see the three regional clubs at the top. It is massive for us to have the top three teams all part of the region - it’s great for Cardiff Blues and it’s a good stepping stone if players need to drop down and also in terms of being part of successful teams coming back into the Blues.”

Rees was at the Arms Park as the Blue & Blacks ran away 34-15 winners over Ponty on New Year’s Day as he pitted his wits against former teammate, close friend and now Cardiff RFC defence coach Gethin Jenkins.

It was a game in which numerous regional players featured for both sides, receiving several plaudits for their contribution.

He added: “Geth’s doing a bit with Cardiff now so we don’t share any notes any more. We had a bit of banter through the week in terms of selection and how training has gone but Gethin is an old Ponty boy!

“He’s obviously also in that transitional role with the academy and is enjoying it. For the younger boys to have someone of Gethin’s calibre, his knowledge and experience, it’s a must that he stays involved at the Blues.

“It’s good to see he is doing a bit with Cardiff with TR (Thomas Rhys Thomas) and it was a good challenge.

“To be involved in the game out here (Arms Park) on New Year’s Day, with so many regional players involved and great support, it adds extra spice during the working week at the Vale with players going up against each other.

“It was the first time I’ve seen him smile for a long time!”