Rugby World Cup: Gethin Jenkins aims to build on prop cap record

Gethin Jenkins
Gethin Jenkins packed down in a new-look Wales front-row against in Ireland that included debutant tight-head Tomas Francis
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England and Wales Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Radio Wales and in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.

Gethin Jenkins aims to build on his new Test appearance record and help Wales fulfil their World Cup ambitions.

The loose-head won his 120th cap in Wales' 16-10 warm-up win over Ireland on Saturday, passing the mark for a prop held by England's Jason Leonard.

British and Irish Lion Jenkins, 34, is set to be named in Wales' final 31-man World Cup on Monday and will surely add to his record during the tournament.

"It's obviously a nice achievement [the prop cap record]," Jenkins said.

"But I want to keep building, you never value the jersey fully until you lose it and I want to keep going as long as I can."

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Jenkins' 115 Wales caps span the previous three World Cups since making his debut in November 2002 against Romania, while he also has five Lions caps under his belt earned in 2005 and 2009.

He had also been selected for the 2013 tour to Australia, but had to leave the Lions camp because of a calf muscle injury.

Despite his vast experience, Jenkins' appetite and enthusiasm shows no sign of diminishing.

"Day to day you have to manage your body and stay on top form. I just want to put a good performance in every time I put the jersey on," he said.

"It shows how old I am [featuring in a fourth World Cup]. You don't get any prizes for playing, though.

"A couple of the boys asked if I played in 2003, when they probably weren't even [old enough to be] watching!"

Wales reached the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, having captain Sam Warburton sent off as they lost agonisingly by a point to France.

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Jenkins believes that the squad that will contest the coming tournament - which sees Wales in the toughest of groups against host England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay - is more street-wise.

"When [Wales coach] Warren Gatland named the 31 for the World Cup four years ago we had a lot of younger players coming through," Jenkins said.

"Now we are still quite young, but we're a lot more experienced as a group. The guys have got a lot of international rugby under their belts over the last four years.

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"All the hard work we've put in builds towards this showpiece occasion every four years."

Wales' win in Dublin on Saturday took them above England and into fifth place in rugby union's official world rankings.

But Jenkins dismissed any significance so close to a World Cup campaign when England and Australia are among those countries blocking Wales' quarter-final path.

"Players don't look at the rankings," he added.

"Shaking hands with the Irish players when we came off the field, both teams knew there are bigger things coming up over the next few weeks."

Wales' opening World Cup match is against Uruguay in Cardiff on 20 September, with England, Fiji and Australia to follow.

Wales' World Cup pool games
Sunday, 20 Sept, 14:30 BST: Wales v Uruguay, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 26 Sept, 20:00 BST: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium
Thursday, 1 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 10 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Australia, Twickenham Stadium

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