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29 October 2014
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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 are under."

 

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 own future.

 

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 Llanelli.

 

"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."

 

NP

 

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Category: Wales
Date: 06.09.2007
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