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Rees pens new Blues contract

Former Wales hooker Matthew Rees has signed a new contract with the Cardiff Blues.

The 34-year-old was a free agent after his previous Blues deal ended and had been linked with a move to big-spending Championship outfit Merthyr, who are being funded by wealthy businessman Sir Stanley Thomas.

But the Blues have confirmed that veteran hooker Rees and second-row forward James Down have both agreed undisclosed length of contracts with the Guinness PRO12 region.

"Both Matthew and James are very important and positive additions to our region as we prepare for the new season," head coach Danny Wilson told the official Blues website.

"Matthew brings real leadership and vast experience to our squad.

"James is a strong line-out forward and there is no doubt he returns to Cardiff Blues a better player."

Rees, who played 60 times for Wales and won three British and Irish Lions caps in 2009, joined the Blues two years ago from the Scarlets, where Wilson was the forwards' coach.

Down, 27 made a total of 63 appearances for the Blues between 2007 and 2014 and spent last season playing for London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership.

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