Scrum-half Richie Rees excited by Dragons bow
6:02am Friday 23rd August 2013 in Sport
TONIGHT promises to be a strange experience for Richie Rees – the Newport Gwent Dragons scrum-half will get the backing rather than barracking of the Rodney Parade faithful, writes Chris Kirwan.
The 30-year-old summer signing from Edinburgh will make his first appearance in the region's colours when they take on Bath (kick-off 7.15pm).
Rees, who won nine caps for Wales, would have been the recipient of some pearls of wisdom from the Hazell Terrace during his stint with Cardiff Blues but the advice that comes his way over the coming season should be a tad more encouraging.
"I've always enjoyed playing here so I am looking forward to putting the jersey on for the first time," he said. "Hopefully it will be a decent crowd and we can put on a good performance for them.
"Bath are a strong side but we have had a good pre-season and after all that training we are excited about finally getting out on the field.
"Nothing beats a game environment and it will be good to work on some combinations."
Jonathan Evans, the Dragons' player of the season for 2012/13, has been given the start against the Aviva Premiership outfit.
There promises to be an almighty scrap for the number 9 jersey with Wayne Evans fit and firing after being troubled by a back injury last term.
"Scrum-half is a key position and teams need strength in depth," said Rees. "I think we have got that and competition is fierce all over the pitch.
"Jon played really well last year and Wayne has been a quality player here for a long time. It's going to be tough to get regular game time, but that's what we are all aiming for."
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