Matthew Rees

For the novelist/journalist, see Matt Rees. For the actor, see Matthew Rhys. For the footballer, see Matthew Rees (footballer).
Matthew Rees
Personal information
Full name Matthew Rees
Date of birth (1980-12-09) 9 December 1980
Place of birth Tonyrefail, Wales
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight 108 kg (17 st 0 lb)[1]
Club information
Position Hooker
Current club Cardiff Blues
Senior clubs*
YearsClubApps (points)
Merthyr RFC[2]
Pontypridd RFC
Celtic Warriors
Cardiff Blues

34 (5)[lower-alpha 1]
17 (0)[lower-alpha 2]
182 (25)[6]
19 (0)[1]
Representative teams**
British and Irish Lions
61 (10)[7]
3 (0)[8]
* Professional club appearances and points
counted for domestic first grade only and
correct as of 16 August 2013.
** Representative team caps and points correct
as of 22 Jun 2014.

Matthew Rees (born 9 December 1980 in Tonyrefail, Wales[1]) is a Wales and British and Irish Lions international rugby union footballer who currently plays for the Cardiff Blues. His usual position is at hooker. Rees is the most capped Hooker for the Wales national team.

Rees previously played for Pontypridd, the now defunct Celtic Warriors,[9] and the Scarlets.[6]

Club career


Matthew Rees was a product of the Pontypridd Under-21 Academy from the 2000–01 season. His nickname at Sardis Road was "Smiler".[3] Rees made one substitute appearance for the side in the 2001–02 Celtic League, along with three appearances as a replacement in the 2001–02 European Challenge Cup. In the following season, Rees played in three 2002–03 Celtic League games, starting in two, and made three appearances in the 2002–03 European Challenge Cup, two of these coming from the bench.

Celtic Warriors

With the regionalisation of Welsh professional club rugby, Rees joined Celtic Warriors in 2003. Rees made 16 appearances for the Warriors in the 2003–04 Celtic League, as well as one appearance in the 2003–04 Heineken Cup. The Celtic Warriors team was disbanded after its first season due to financial issues however, and Rees moved to Llanelli Scarlets, another one of the recently founded Welsh regional sides.[3]


Rees spent nine seasons with Scarlets, playing with the team from the 2004–05 season until the end of the 2012–13 campaign. Rees made over 170 appearances for the team and captained the side on a number of occasions.[1]

Cardiff Blues

Rees moved from Scarlets to Cardiff Blues for the 2013–14 season and on 16 August 2013 was named as captain for the season.[10] Rees was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 2013 however, and was forced to take a leave of absence from the game to receive treatment.[11][12]

International career

Rees made his debut for Wales against the USA in 2005.[1]

In June 2009 Rees, Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones were selected as the British and Irish Lions front row for the 2nd Test against South Africa.[1] This was the first time an all-Welsh front row was selected for a Lions test match since Billy Williams, Bryn Meredith and Courtney Meredith on the 1955 Lions tour.[6]

On 18 January 2010 he was named in the 35 man Wales national Squad for the 2010 Six Nations tournament.[13] Rees was appointed captain of the Welsh side in place of the injured Ryan Jones for the test against Australia at the Millennium Stadium on 6 November 2010[14] and retained the captaincy for the 2011 Six Nations Championship.

On 29 May 2010, Rees was voted Rhondda Sport Personality of the year.[6]

He missed the 2011 Rugby World Cup due to a neck injury which meant that Rees would lose the Wales captaincy to Sam Warburton. Wales went on to achieve fourth place.[15]

On 26 May 2013, Rees played for the Barbarians against England in a warm-up match before England's tour of Argentina.[16]

On 14 June 2014 versus South Africa Rees surpassed the record of 58 caps held by Garin Jenkins for the most Wales caps as hooker.


  1. 34 appearances,[3] at least one try.[4]
  2. 16 appearances in the Pro 12[4] and one in the Heineken Cup.[5] No information on other appearances (e.g. pre-season friendlies).


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Matthew Rees". Cardiff Blues. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  2. "Y Garfan: Cymru" (in Welsh). Welsh Rugby Union. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 "Rees, Matthew". Pontypridd RFC. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Player Archive". Pro 12. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  5. "Matthew Rees". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Matthew Rees". Scarlets. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  7. "Squad Profiles: Wales Senior Player Archive". Welsh Rugby Union. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  8. "Matthew Rees Wales". ESPN. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  9. "Season preview: Celtic Warriors". BBC. 31 August 2003. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  10. "Pro12: Hooker Matthew Rees to lead Cardiff Blues". BBC. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  11. "Welsh international Matthew Rees diagnosed with cancer". Irish Independent. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  12. "Matthew Rees: Cardiff Blues hooker to have cancer treatment". BBC Sport. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  13. "Mike Phillips and Dwayne Peel left out of Wales squad". BBC. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  14. "Neil Jenkins hails 'awesome' Wales captain Matthew Rees". BBC. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  15. "Matthew Rees wants Wales captaincy again". BBC. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  16. "England (16) 40 - 12 (0) Barbarians (FT)". espn. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
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