Danny Wilson reckons Taufa'ao Filise and Matthew Rees can play a major role in the development of Cardiff Blues' prop stars of the future.
It was announced on Tuesday that Filise, 40, and Rees, 36, have both extended their stay at Cardiff Arms Park, alongside Scott Andrews, Anton Peikrishvili, Brad Thyer and Lewis Jones
The 2016/17 campaign saw young front rowers, such as Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti, break into the first team squad, while Dillon Lewis made his international debut during Wales’ summer tour to the Pacific Islands.
And Wilson insists Filise and Rees’ positive influence within the squad, alongside some impressive performances last season, was a big reason to award both with a contract extension.
“The age range of the younger guys and the more experienced gives us some role models for the younger guys and I think we all know, in Wales, that we’re reliant on bringing through the young talent we have in this region and in Wales,” said Wilson.
“We’ve got some young hookers like Ethan Lewis and Kirby Myhill, those type of guys to have the balance with Matthew.
“Part of his role is to impart that scrummaging presence and knowledge that he has onto the likes of Kristian Dacey and the others.
“Fa’ao is in great nick, he is a very popular man in the squad and another big part of his role is to impart his wealth of knowledge onto the several younger props coming through our system - the likes of Dillon Lewis and Keiron Assiratti who are at the other end of the scale, as we know.
“When you age profile with those types of players, the decision are made far later and last year it was based on the fact that Fa’ao was still doing a great job coming into the end of a long season.
“It’s also been based on performances, at the tail end of last season especially. Looking back at the Ospreys game in the stadium and some of the big high-speed intensity games that Fa’ao delivered really good performances in.
“He was playing extremely well, he is our most consistent scrummaging tight-head, perhaps doesn’t have the legs around the field that the others have, but we all know there are certain games where you need a rock solid scrummaging tight-head and Fa’ao certainly is that.”
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