The Scarlets star is set to win his first cap against America in Hartford tonight as Mefin Davies and Robin McBryde both struggle with injuries. And Rees believes in the long term he can fill his former and current team-mates boots.
"Mike Ruddock has picked a young squad and given us a chance to prove what we can do," said the 24-year-old from Tonyrefail. "Mefin's been superb and helped me all the way since my selection.
"I respect him as a person and as a player, as I do Robin McBryde. But Mefin's 32 now and Robin's 35 so, in the longer term, the Wales jersey's there to be taken."
Rees is relishing the prospect of testing his skills on the international stage and is aware that Wales must be at their best to beat a dangerous Eagles team.
"The USA will be direct and in our faces and have excellent key players like Kort Schubert and Mike Hercus," added Rees. "They're a threatening side, but we have to put the fire out before it starts."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.