Jenkins honoured to be involved with Lions

Gareth Jenkins, one of Sir Clive Woodward's British & Irish Lions coaching staff, admits it is an "honour" to be involved with the tour to New Zealand. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Gareth Jenkins, one of Sir Clive Woodward’s British & Irish Lions coaching staff, admits it is an "honour" to be involved with the tour to New Zealand.

The June and July tour provides Jenkins, director of rugby at Llanelli, with an excellent opportunity to underline his credentials as one of Britain’s top coaches over the past few years.

"It is an honour, and it is exciting to say the least. Now that the squad has been announced, the tour can’t come quick enough," he said.

"Only once in a hundred years have the Lions been successful in New Zealand, which puts into perspective the challenge ahead.

"It is the ultimate rugby challenge, but that is what you want. If you are going to be successful, you want to win in the most difficult of all places."

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As a player with Llanelli during the 1970s, Jenkins had plenty of chances to discuss perhaps the most famous Lions tour of all, with its coaching mastermind Carwyn James.

James guided the 1971 Lions to a Test series victory over the All Blacks, which remains the solitary occasion that the tourists have triumphed in New Zealand.

"I often talked with Carwyn James about it," Jenkins said.

"Then as now, there is no bigger rugby challenge for the Lions than going to New Zealand, but I remember him telling me that the key was very simple – it was purely a case of getting the best players on the plane."

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