BBC Wales cameras follow Gareth Jenkins into the fire
"What would really kill me, what would really knock me back, was if I
wasn't given an opportunity longer than two years. I don't think in two
years you can affect anything. If I was able to look back after four
years I could then say to myself you had your opportunity, you were given
the chance, have you made a difference?"
So says Wales rugby union coach Gareth
Jenkins at the start of a special one-off BBC Wales documentary Gareth
Jenkins: Into The Fire to be broadcast on BBC One Wales on Thursday 6
September 2007 at 10.35pm.
BBC Wales' cameras follow Jenkins during what will be a make or break
year for a man who was brought in to the job on a wave of public acclaim.
When he was the coach of Llanelli he was the most successful coach in
Wales, but now it seems that dream is falling apart.
It's the only job in Wales where you can inspire both devotion and hatred
in turns, hand-in-hand with the performance of the team.
Nobody in the
job has ever seen out their tenure, they have always left before the end
of their contract.
Sir Clive Woodward, former England rugby union coach, says: "Coaching in Wales is very, very difficult. It's probably one of the most
difficult jobs in world sport, just because of the amount of pressure you
He adds: "If you win you get a pat on the back, if you don't you get shot."
During the course of the programme we also learn that during the
disastrous Six Nations campaign even Jenkins had some doubts about his
He says: "If the union felt as if I wasn't performing, and I wasn't
successful as a coach, they could have quite easily finished my contract
for me. Tongue in cheek you know, half way through the Six Nations, there
were times I was thinking, well I wonder you know?
"But you've got to be positive, you've got to trust yourself, you've got
to back yourself. You have to, that's the business."
The cameras also follow Jenkins as he tries to relax away from the
stresses and strains of his high profile international career at home in
"You come home from work and really you take work with you. There was a
feeling in my stomach for two days after the Scotland game, it's hard to
explain, but I think you've really got to be at the top end of sport to
fully understand, where your stomach churns.
"It doesn't churn every minute of the day, but there are moments where
you go back to the rawness of the moments that really were unacceptable
to you. You just don't sleep."