Six Nations 2013: Wales skipper Gethin Jenkins hails greatest day

 

Gethin Jenkins has hailed leading Wales to the 2013 Six Nations title after beating Grand-Slam chasers England his "best experience" in the game.

He said lifting the trophy topped his three Grand Slam wins.

The prop, capped 97 times and a double British and Irish Lions tourist, said: "To lift that trophy - personally the best experience I've ever had."

Toulon player Jenkins reserved special praise for front-row colleagues Adam Jones and Richard Hibbard.

Jenkins returned from a calf injury to become Wales' third skipper of the tournament before the loose-head was replaced by Bath's Paul James 18 minutes from the end with his side leading 17-3.

Scrum V Statpad: Wales v England

After watching Wales go on to record a record win against England, who had gone into the game seeking a first Grand Slam since 2003, Jenkins was delighted.

The Cardiff Blues-bound player said: "I obviously didn't see out the last 20 minutes, but to lift that trophy - personally the best experience I've ever had and I'm just glad that the boys managed to see it home and we got that victory."

Wales suffered an eighth successive defeat on the tournament's opening day when Ireland won 30-22 in Cardiff.

But interim head coach Rob Howley guided his side to away wins over France, Scotland and Italy - taking them to a record run of five wins on the road.

However, Wales had also suffered five straight home defeats before hosting England.

Jenkins said: "No-one would have thought it… after that first game we've stuck tight, the coaches have worked very hard.

"Behind the closed doors we've talked about the way we're going to build ourselves back.

"Those three games away from home, we've built a lot of team spirit as well so... to finish that off [against England] was great for us."

And asked in the post-match media conference if he felt winning the 2013 title was better than enjoying Grand Slams in 2005, 2008 and 2012, Jenkins replied: "Yeah, definitely.

"I thought we had more pressure on us today than in a Grand Slam game and in a Grand Slam game the momentum is built up, the atmosphere is built up and everyone expects us to win, even.

"But... people would have perhaps written us off because of the form England have been in and we just stuck tight.

"And to get that win against England and to stop them winning the Grand Slam as well, the boys are ecstatic in the changing rooms."