Jenkins searches for positives

Head coach Gareth Jenkins insists he has no regrets about the decision to field a virtual third-string side against England despite watching Wales suffer a record 62-5 thrashing at Twickenham. [more]

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Head coach Gareth Jenkins insists he has no regrets about the decision to field a virtual third-string side against England despite watching Wales suffer a record 62-5 thrashing at Twickenham.

Jenkins now faces arguably the toughest week of his Wales career as he attempts to pick though the rubble of a performance in which Wales were bulldozed into submission.

Saturday’s game was the last opportunity for Jenkins to clarify his thinking before finalising Wales’ 30-man squad for the World Cup.

And yet barely any of those with World Cup places on the line – around two-thirds of the starting line-up – produced a performance which even hinted at a desire for selection.

"It wouldn’t be fair to say there were many positives. We have been taught a lesson," Jenkins admitted afterwards.

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"England dominated us completely as a pack. They strangled us and in the last 15 minutes we were out on our legs. The final score was tough to take."

Wales’ key deficiencies were up front as England dominated 70% of possession and their pack either scored or were directly responsible for seven of the nine tries.

Number eight Nick Easter showed how it should be done when World Cup selection is on the line by making the most of England’s dominance and scoring four tries.

Shaun Perry, in his element working behind such a powerful pack, darted over for England’s seventh try and produced a man of the match performance which put him in pole position for the number nine jersey.

Steve Borthwick and Lawrence Dallaglio also crossed and it was only in the final two minutes that the backs got in on the action as Jason Robinson and Mathew Tait scored long-range efforts.

"It was a hard 60 points to watch," admitted Jenkins. Tom Shanklin, Alun-Wyn Jones and Colin Charvis put in the best shifts for Wales – but they are already certain of selection.

Jenkins added: "It was always my intention to use this game to finalise my opinion and we will use the next couple of days reflecting on this performance.

"We were looking for two or three players from today to fill in the rest of the squad. We will reflect on that."

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