Jenkins knows what’s required to claim big scalp
WALES v AUSTRALIA (Saturday, KO 2.30)
GETHIN Jenkins admits Wales have to up their game considerably if they are to claim a rare southern hemisphere scalp against Australia on Saturday.
The prop is set to make history this weekend when he wins his 94th cap to equal a record held by ex-Newport Gwent Dragons star Colin Charvis as Wales’ second most-capped forward.
Jenkins will then be just six caps behind the most-capped forward milestone held by Martyn Williams who retired on a 100 Tests this summer.
But the loosehead admits his side will really have to up the ante if he is to make it a double celebration by marking it with a win.
And after a hugely disappointing autumn series, Wales are desperate for victory after successive home defeats to Argentina, Samoa and New Zealand.
Speaking about those losses, Jenkins said: “There’s no excuse for losing three games.
“We let teams get on top of us. Argentina and Samoa knew they had a big chance of beating us and we let New Zealand get on top of us early doors.
“We came back in the end on Saturday but we are disappointed in the way we let the All Blacks get a 33-0 lead and I suppose it was a little too late to come back.
“We don’t like to make excuses, we were beaten by a better team on the day.”
Since the highs of the Grand Slam victory over France in Cardiff eight months ago, Wales have slumped to six defeats in a row, which include June’s 3-0 Test series defeat to the Wallabies in Australia.
The 31-year-old is full of praise for the Wallabies but added this weekend gives Wales a chance to avenge those narrow defeats on their tour and get back to winning ways.
“We know from the summer how good a team Australia are,” he said.
“We’ve really got to pick our game up this week and try and get that win.
“It’s all about getting out on the field and imposing ourselves early doors.
“Australia know a lot about us but we learned a lot about what’s it’s like to play them in the summer in that three-match series.
“We were disappointed to lose that series but now have a chance to put that right.”
Jenkins has had a tough few months on the field since leaving Cardiff Blues at the end of last season for a big money move to France.
Since joining Toulon, the three-times Grand Slam winner has found himself playing second fiddle to England’s Andrew Sheri-dan at the Top 14 giants and then to Paul James for Wales during the autumn.
Jenkins, who is almost certain to start this weekend with James back with Bath, maintains he has settled in France – despite being linked with a move home.
“I’m happy at Toulon and I’m grateful they have agreed to release me for this game,” he said.