Jenkins ready to roar

Gethin Jenkins is about to embark on one of the biggest periods of his glittering career. [more]

Jenkins ready to roar

Gethin Jenkins is about to embark on one of the biggest periods of his glittering career.

The Wales prop has already racked up an Amlin Challenge Cup, four RBS 6 Nations titles, three Grand Slams and two British & Irish Lions tours in a remarkable 103 Test career.

He is one of six props in Warren Gatland’s Lions squad that will tour Australia in the summer but before he turns his attention to matters Down Under he has a Heineken Cup final to contend.

“It is a big month for me,” said Jenkins.
“I have been involved in the Heineken Cup for about 10 or 11 years and I am lucky to have come into a team who have reached the final.”

Jenkins will then link up with the Lions for his third tour, after trips to New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa in 2009 where he was a Test regular.

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The triple tourist will be available for the whole of the trip Down Under and he is relishing the opportunity to secure a first Lions Test series triumph since 1997.

“This is probably more of an achievement because I felt at the start of the season when I was playing with Toulon I had been written off,” said Jenkins.

“I was proud to come back and play in the Six Nations and to be captain of the team in the last game against England and to win in the manner in which we did and claim the trophy.

“This third tour is a great achievement because I am a bit older and this won’t come around again.

“I went through a stage where I could not get a run of games together or fitness going and I broke down in the World Cup.

“But I have to pay tributes to the physios who have put me back on track and the Wales coaches who have shown a lot of loyalty and stuck with me despite my injuries on the field.

“It would be nice to win a Test because I have played in five games and lost them all,” said Jenkins

“We came close in the second Test against South Africa but just missed out.

“It will be drummed into us how hard we will have to work to win the series against the Australians.

“It only comes around once every 12 years for them and they put everything into it.

“Winning a Lions series is a big goal of mine. You just have to look at the players of 1997 who are remembered as legends after winning their series against Australia.”

Jenkins faces competition from Ireland’s Cian Healy and England’s Mako Vunipola for a loose-head berth and he is desperate to nail down a Test spot.

“The next goal is to try and get in that Test team and you have to work hard to do that,” added Jenkins.
“It will be tough to get that spot.

“I have played against Vunipola a couple of times in the last game against England and the Heineken Cup semi-final for Toulon against Saracens. I actually played with his father at Pontypridd so that shows how old I am!

“Cian Healy has been playing well for Ireland and Leinster for a few years.

“So it is going to be stiff competition but that is what the Lions is about and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
 

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