The Scarlets have named the experienced and well-respected Wales and British and Irish Lions hooker, Matthew Rees, as captain for the forthcoming season.
The decision to hand 29-year-old Rees the captain's role is as part of a three-way international line-up that will lead the region forward and includes back-up roles for Stephen Jones and David Lyons.
With 39 international cap Rees as Scarlets captain, Head Coach Nigel Davies has also named 91-cap fly-half and Scarlets highest-ever points scorer (2,612) Stephen Jones, as vice-captain, while 43-cap Australia international David Lyons as captain in the wings to lead the squad when Rees and Jones are on international duty.
The decision to name a 'leadership group' at the helm of the squad, with a total of 466 Scarlets appearances between them, underpins the Scarlets' philosophy to maintain continuity and consistency in their rugby approach throughout next season which sees them up against Leicester, Perpignan and Benetton Treviso in Pool 5 of the Heineken Cup.
Announcing the decision, Davies said: "What we have in this group are three natural leaders, they all have different qualities and strengths which will benefit our group and the mix of players we have. They will work closely together to provide a consistency and continuity in how we lead our players forward throughout the season.
"Matthew brings a fresh, new dynamic to the captaincy. He has had great experience in recent years and has matured hugely as a player. His natural leadership qualities are obvious on and off the field and sets very high standards for himself and others. He will bring some different strengths to the Scarlets captaincy including a mental toughness and hard-edge which will be good for this squad going forward.
"He's a complete professional and exemplifies all aspects of the Scarlets' values and culture. He'll have the backing and belief of everyone in the squad and I know he will do a great job for us as captain of our region."
Rees said: "I am thrilled to have been given this honour and I'm really looking forward to leading this Scarlets squad. On a personal note, it's a great achievement for me and will push me on more. It's been a huge couple of years for me as a player and with the experience I've had recently, I think it's a really good time for me to take this role. I can't wait to lead the Scarlets and I'll be giving it everything.
"With experienced guys like Steve and David backing me as well, I think we'll have a lot of strength and focus in getting this squad to perform to the best of its ability. For me, it's about getting back to winning ways and I want to see Parc y Scarlets become a much tougher place to come and play. There is huge potential in this squad from senior level down through to our exciting new crop of development players. You can see that some of the guys who've had a taste of top level rugby now are eager to produce the results."