Ellis Jenkins: World Cup incentive for injured flanker, says coach Mulvihill

Ellis Jenkins makes a break for Wales against South Africa
Ellis Jenkins has made nine appearances for Wales

Ellis Jenkins could use the 2019 World Cup as an incentive in his recovery from knee surgery, says Cardiff Blues head coach John Mulvihill.

The flanker suffered a "significant" knee injury in the closing moments of Wales' 20-11 defeat of South Africa.

Jenkins, 25, had a breakthrough autumn, leading Wales against Tonga and was man of the match against the Springboks.

"It is really disappointing for him. He played fantastically well and sometimes rugby is really cruel," said Mulvihill.

No final decision has been made about Jenkins' treatment, but he will face a lengthy lay off and a race to be fit in time to be considered for the World Cup.

The tournament kicks off on 20 September with Wales coach Warren Gatland due to finalise his squad in August.

Jenkins' form had put him among the serious contenders in the back row - one of the most competitive area in the Wales squad.

"That would be something he would aim for (getting back for the World Cup)," added Mulvihill.

"All guys that go through the rehab process will sit down with the medical staff and will map out their progress from getting off crutches and out of braces to weight bearing and so on.

"His recovery will be mapped out along a time line and guys like him are usually committed to the cause usually beat those time lines when they are set.

"Personally for him it will be devastating. I was watching the game and said to the people with me that he was going to be man-of-the-match and he was.

"It is a big blow for him because he was due to finish the game on a high after being involved with the national team for a good four week block and he put a lot of heart and soul into that."

Mulvihill also reflected on the impact on the region, with ex-Wales captain Sam Warburton retiring at the start of the season, and Josh Navidi - another Wales flanker - sidelined by injury.

Mulvihill confirmed Lloyd Williams and Josh Turnbull will take over the captaincy role in the Pro14 match against Ulster on Saturday.

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