Matthew Rees has been impressed with the form of the youngsters at the Blues this season.
Cardiff Blues will welcome Mathew Rees to the Arms Park next season, with the Wales and Lions hooker having signed a two-year contract with the capital city region.
For me personally, I feel that moving to the Blues will provide me with a fresh, new challenge that I am ready to tackle
Rees made his debut for Wales against the USA in 2005 and has gone on to win 57 caps for his country.
He was also selected for the Lions tour to South Africa in 2009, playing in all three Tests, and started alongside fellow Welsh front-row internationals Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones in the Second Test.
"Leaving the Scarlets has been a tough decision to make after being there for so many years," said Rees. "The Scarlets is where I established myself as a player however I feel that this is the right decision at this point in my career.
"For me personally, I feel that moving to the Blues will provide me with a fresh, new challenge that I am ready to tackle.
"From working with Phil in the past, I know he is a very organised coach and knows how to get the best out of players and I am looking forward to working with him again. I think he was frustrated with some of the results this season but the hard work is paying off with some performances and results recently. The win out in Munster shows what this team can do.
"It's good that the Blues are bringing through the youngsters and with some key signings to strengthen the squad, I'm sure there will be more to come from the team.
"The Blues have had success over recent years but have since lost a lot of experienced players such as Martyn Williams, Gethin Jenkins and Xavier Rush who are difficult to replace.
"However, so far this season, I have been really impressed with the young players that Phil has brought through and now with some key signings to strengthen the squad.
"I'm sure there will be more success to come from the team, which with my experience I hope to contribute to."
Having been raised in Tonyrefail, Rees played for the Celtic Warriors and Pontypridd before joining the Scarlets in 2004 and going on to make more than 150 appearances.
"I'm obviously from the Blues region originally and when the Celtic Warriors disbanded I think there was interest in signing me but I moved to the Scarlets.
"Joining the Blues at this stage in my career will, I hope, freshen things up for me as I've still got ambitions to play for Wales."
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Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
We look back on the victory over Fiji that makes it three from three for Wales in this World Cup, in a special extra Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Wales coach Warren Gatland, captain Sam Warburton, plus Gethin Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Matthew Morgan and Tyler Morgan, as well as defence coach Shaun Edwards and getting the Fijian perspective from coach John McKee.
We look forward to the Ospreys v Blues derby clash in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Ospreys No 8 Dan Baker talks about the pain of missing out on the World Cup, as does Dragons wing Tom Prydie. Blues director of rugby Danny Wilson looks forward to his first Welsh derby in charge, we also hear from Dragons lock Matthew Screech and Wales Sevens team manager Steff Thomas.
The latest news, results and tables from the Blues region
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The latest news, results and tables from the Ospreys region
The latest news, results and tables from the Scarlets region