Wales v Argentina: Gethin Jenkins 'phenomenal' says Rob Howley


  • Venue: Millennium Stadium
  • Date: Saturday, 16 November
  • Kick-off: 14:30 GMT

Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; live scores & text online

Rob Howley has described Gethin Jenkins as a "phenomenal athlete" as the prop prepares to win his 100th cap when Wales play Argentina on Saturday.

Jenkins, 32, made his international debut against Romania in 2002 and has won three Six Nations Grand Slams.

He will be the fourth Welshman to win a century of caps after Gareth Thomas, Stephen Jones and Martyn Williams.

"He's a very astute, intelligent rugby player," said attack coach Howley, a former Wales and Lions scrum-half.

"You look at his kick chasing on Saturday, and let's not forget about what he does at set-pieces.

Gethin Jenkins factfile

Born: November 17, 1980

Wales debut: v Romania, 2002

Grand Slam winner: 2005, 2008 and 2012

Did you know: He and Rob Howley are the only Welshmen to have won both the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup

"Not that I understand a lot about scrum and line-out, but his ability around the field in attack and defence, and also in his kick chase, is incredible."

Jenkins toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2005 and 2009, playing in five Test matches.

The Cardiff Blues forward was also selected for last summer's tour of Australia after captaining Wales in their 30-3 win over England in the Six Nations, but was unable to play after sustaining a calf injury.

Jenkins returned to the Blues for the 2013-14 season after spending a year in Toulon, where he appeared as a replacement in their Heineken Cup final win over Clermont Auvergne.

Howley said Saturday's game in Cardiff would be a special and poignant occasion for "family man" Jenkins.

His mother Lesley died of cancer at the age of 49 in 2007, three days before Wales played France. Jenkins played in that match and at the time said "every cap and game is for her."

"His mum would be be very, very proud of him," said Howley. "And I'm sure there'll be someone smiling looking down when he runs out on Saturday."