Gethin Jenkins confirms retirement after Saturday’s Cardiff match

‘I’m looking forward to one more run out’: Wales legend Gethin Jenkins confirms he will retire from rugby after Saturday’s Cardiff Blues match

  • Gethin Jenkins, Wales’ most-capped player, will retire after one last match
  • The prop was capped a record 129 times and won three Six Nations Grand Slams
  • The 37-year-old also won five caps across two tours with the British & Irish Lions 

Gethin Jenkins, Wales’ most-capped player, will retire after one last match this weekend at the age of 37.

A legend of rugby, the prop played a record 129 times for his country and won five caps across two tours with the British & Irish Lions, making him the fourth most-capped player of all time.

He has been battling a chronic knee injury and has now decided that this Saturday’s match against Zebre for Cardiff Blues in the Pro14 will be his last.

Gethin Jenkins, Wales' most-capped player, will retire after one last match this weekend

Gethin Jenkins, Wales’ most-capped player, will retire after one last match this weekend

‘It’s obviously a big decision but I’ve had a good innings, it’s time to finish and I’m looking forward to one more run out on the weekend and hopefully finishing on a high,’ said Jenkins via a statement.

‘I have been working hard rehabbing over the last three months and I was confident I was going to be back playing so it’s disappointing to be retiring after Sunday’s game against Zebre.

‘The pain I have been experiencing from rugby, in my daily life, simply isn’t tolerable but it’s important to me that after all the work I have put in, I run out with my team one last time and finish on my own terms.’

Jenkins is one of only five Welshmen to have won three Grand Slams – his coming in 2005, 2008 and 2012 – alongside Ryan Jones, Adam Jones, Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies and JPR Williams.

The prop (left) played a record 129 times for Wales and won three Six Nations Grand Slams

The prop (left) played a record 129 times for Wales and won three Six Nations Grand Slams

He also played in four World Cups, from 2003 to 2015, and won the Heineken Cup with Toulon in 2013, only the ninth Welshman at the time to lift the biggest trophy in club rugby.

‘I have so many memories from over the years and could stay here all day listing them but the biggest thing I will miss is that camaraderie with the boys, the buzz of running out and playing, and the feeling in the changing rooms after a win,’ he added.

‘I’m very proud of everything I have achieved in my career, particularly captaining the Blues in the previous three seasons. None of it would have been possible without my parents and the 2005 Grand Slam always stands out as Mum and Dad were both there supporting me.’

The 37-year-old also won five caps across two tours with the British & Irish Lions

The 37-year-old also won five caps across two tours with the British & Irish Lions

Since making his debut against Romania in Wrexham back in November 2002, Jenkins has been a superb scrummager but married his set-piece work with fine work around the field.

Jenkins will now take up a coaching role within the Cardiff Blues academy and expressed his gratitude to his regional side for their support.

He said: ‘I’m very grateful to (chairman) Peter Thomas, the entire club and its brilliant supporters for everything they have given me over the years, and also Gruff Rees and John Mulvihill for making this transition from playing to coaching a smooth one.

‘I am hanging up my boots with the club in a strong position and while missing last season’s European Challenge Cup was personally devastating, I was immensely proud of the culture, environment and legacy we have built.’

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