Cardiff Blues scrum half Richard Rees impressed during the clash against France.
Wales scrum-half Richie Rees hopes his impressive performance on his first international start will see him retain the No9 shirt for the Six Nations clash with Ireland in a fortnight's time.
Rees made his senior Wales bow in the thrilling encounter with France last Friday and has since received plenty of plaudits for an accomplished all-round display.
Wales may have slipped to a narrow defeat in front of a packed-out Millennium Stadium but Rees himself enhanced his own reputation thanks to his crisp passing, his control around the base and a fully-committed defensive effort against a powerful French outfit.
"I really enjoyed the experience and felt it went okay personally," said Rees, who came off the bench in the previous games against England and Scotland.
"I would like to say I won the battle against (opposite number) Morgan Parra. But you never know if the fact I played the whole 80 minutes will mean anything for the Ireland game."
If Rees is to get the nod from Warren Gatland for the trip to Dublin, he knows he will have to fight off the challenge of two of the most respected scrum-halves in world rugby.
Fit-again Ospreys star Mike Phillips was an unused replacement against France having not played for his country since the 2009 Six Nations, while 2005 Grand Slam winner Dwayne Peel is also back in the Wales squad following a groin injury.
Such strength in depth could prove daunting for an international newcomer but Rees insists that competition for places is good for him as an individual and for the team as a whole.
"Mike is a world-class player coming back and there is Dwayne Peel as well so we will see how it goes. All I can do is concentrate on my game," added Rees.
"Mike wished me good luck before the game. We get on well and we both want what is good for the side. He has been out for a while but has given me fantastic support. And having him sitting on the bench spurs you on because you know you have to perform.
"It's good for the squad when you have quality players on the bench. That will spur you on personally and it is good for the side."
Rees admits he would have loved to have marked his first start with a victory but he insists this Wales squad is not far away from achieving its potential. And, like the rest of the country, Rees hopes the first step towards that goal will come at Croke Park on March 13.
"We're a better side than results are suggesting. We have got some world-class players but it is not coming together at the moment.
"As a team we can always do better. We can't give team head starts and we have to try and cut out the silly mistakes. I don't think France really created much in the second-half and they seemed to be struggling fitness wise.
"It is another game we should have won but someone is in for a hiding. When we do that we are going to be up there with some of the best sides in the world. I don't see why we can't go out to Ireland and get the result."
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RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
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The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
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