Matthew Rees is relishing the prospect of linking up with fellow Wales front-row forward Adam Jones at Cardiff Blues.
Hooker Rees, 33, will captain the region this season and Jones - a veteran of 95 caps - has joined him in the Welsh capital after completing a switch from Ospreys.
Rees is no stranger to the international scene himself, having accumulated 63 caps for Wales, but he was not able to take his place in Warren Gatland's side for the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing treatment for testicular cancer.
However, he has since been given the all-clear, touring South Africa this summer - his first international outing since the 2013 RBS 6 Nations - and earning the Blues captaincy on his return.
Now he will join forces with prop Jones for club as well as country and Rees is itching to get the campaign underway.
"It's great to have someone of his calibre come into the team," he told Sky Sports News.
"Hopefully he'll be a great asset in terms of experience and also for the younger boys coming in - hopefully they can learn a lot off him.
"I think we've recruited well over the summer. We've definitely got a stronger squad than last year."
Peter Malone has been Nigel Carolan's assistant since 2015
24 March 2017, 11:56am
The IRFU have announced Peter Malone as the Ireland Under-20s interim head coach for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Georgia this summer after Nigel Carolan announced he would take a position at Guinness PRO12 side Connacht.