Gethin Jenkins: Veteran prop eyes more Wales caps at 37

Gethin Jenkins
Gethin Jenkins has played in four World Cups and won three Grand Slams with Wales

Record cap holder Gethin Jenkins wants a Wales return during a season in which he turns 37.

The 129-time capped prop missed Wales' summer tour wins against Tonga and Samoa after undergoing knee surgery.

He led Wales in the 2016 autumn Tests ahead of Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones, but missed the 2017 Six Nations because of a pectoral injury.

Jenkins' birthday is in November and the Cardiff Blue said: "I definitely have those (Wales) ambitions."

He is due to return for Blues in the revamped Pro14 in late September and is targeting an autumn Test series in which Wales face Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.

From a Wales 'high' to frustration

"My first port of call is the Blues and I want to get back playing as soon as I can and we will see where it goes from there," said Jenkins.

"If you are in one of the regions you have a chance of playing for your country and that's the ultimate honour."

Jenkins suffered a "frustrating" 2016-17, saying: "I was on a high last autumn after captaining Wales, but injury struck and I missed a few months.

"I worked hard to get back but injury struck again.

"I have been rehabbing all summer and looking to get back third or fourth game of the coming season."

One more season? No comment

However, the former Treorchy, Pontypridd and Toulon player refused to be drawn on whether this would be his last season after signing a one-year deal to take him until the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

Fellow international front-rowers Matthew Rees, 36, and 40-year-old Taufa'ao Filise have also signed Blues contract extensions.

"I still enjoy being around the environment and as long as you enjoy doing your work that keeps you going," said Jenkins, who has also won five caps for the British and Irish Lions.

"The longer he (Filise) keeps going the more hope it gives me.

"Hopefully the three of us can keep performing in the big games. Then age won't come into it.

"We will need to be managed a little more than the younger boys, but it's going well at the moment."

Europe's top tier the Blues target

Jenkins will again captain the Blues and hopes the region can improve on last season in an expanded tournament that sees the introduction of two South African sides.

"We have been knocking around seventh and we are aiming to get back in the top tier of European rugby," said Jenkins.

"It will be a big challenge and we will need to be a lot more consistent and back up performances.

"It's a tough league though and there are a couple of new teams from a new nation and we are excited to see what they bring.

"South Africa is a proud nation and a great place to play rugby."

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