Lions veteran Phil Vickery has lauded the qualities of fellow tourist Gethin Jenkins ahead of a much-anticipated match up this weekend.
Vickery, who was a Test Lion in 2001 and 2009, started the first Test against the Springboks alongside Jenkins last summer and knows better than most just how talented his Welsh compatriot really is.
Vickery’s coach at Wasps, Shaun Edwards, has already described the Cardiff Blues star as the best tighthead prop in the world and the World Cup winning Englishman appears to agree.
“I said, during the Six Nations, that Blues prop Gethin Jenkins is one of the best props in the world,” said Vickery in the lead up to Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final at Adam’s Park.
“He’s a quality player with a strong all-round game. If he keeps playing like he is, Gethin is going to go down as one of the greats.”
Vickery’s Wasps go into the last-four encounter knowing the second-tier European tournament is now their best chance of silverware after last weekend’s defeat to Bath took their Guinness Premiership destiny out of their own hands.
And while the Challenge Cup has had its critics over the years, Vickery believes that the quality of this season’s competition makes it a tournament Wasps are desperate to win.
“When you look at the game this weekend and the standard of players who will be playing, it’s not far off international rugby,” added Vickery.
“It’s a chance to test yourself against the best.
“I think the Amlin has a lot more kudos because the big teams have dropped down to it from the Heineken Cup.
“With respect to Bath, who beat us at Twickenham in the Premiership last weekend, I think we are playing against a better side in the Blues.”