Six Nations 2014: Edwards praises record-breaking prop Jenkins

RBS Six Nations 2014: Wales v Scotland

  • Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • Date: Saturday, 15 March
  • Kick-off: 14:45 GMT

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards has praised Gethin Jenkins for being one of the most intelligent props to have played the game.

Jenkins, 33, becomes Wales' most-capped player when they host Scotland in the Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday.

GETHIN JENKINS FACTFILE

  • Born: 17 November, 1980, Llantwit Fardre
  • Position: Prop
  • Team: Cardiff Blues
  • Former teams: Treorchy, Pontypridd, Celtic Warriors, Toulon
  • Wales debut: 1 November, 2002 v Romania at the Racecourse, Wrexham
  • Wales caps: 104
  • Lions tours/caps: 2/5
  • Total caps: 109

The Cardiff Blues loose-head will win his 105th Wales cap, beating ex-fly-half Stephen Jones' appearance record.

"Gethin is one of the most intelligent rugby players in his position in the history of the game," said Edwards.

"He is an all-round rugby player, not just a prop forward who scrummages, but one of the first players I go to at half-time and have a chat about anything he thinks we need to be concentrating on. I totally respect his opinion.

"For Gethin and a sold-out capacity crowd we will have won all our home games if we win on Saturday, but we know Scotland are a big challenge."

Since making his Wales debut in a 40-3 win over Romania at Wrexham in November 2002, Jenkins has established himself as one of the world's leading tight-five forwards.

And while he overtakes Jones' Wales appearance record, Jenkins must make one more Test appearance after Saturday's game to become the most-capped international from his nation.

STEPHEN JONES FACTFILE

Stephen Jones
  • Born: 8 December, 1977, Aberystwyth
  • Position: Fly-half
  • Team: London Wasps (assistant coach)
  • Former teams: Llanelli, Clermont Auvergne, Scarlets, London Wasps
  • Wales debut: 27 June, 1998, v South Africa at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
  • Wales caps: 104
  • Lions tours/caps: 2/6
  • Total caps: 110

Jones made six Lions Test appearances while Jenkins has made five, leaving the duo to be tied on 110 caps overall after Jenkins takes the field against Scotland.

Jenkins, who has also played for Treorchy, Pontypridd, Celtic Warriors and Toulon, won his Lions Test caps during trips to New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa four years later, while injury ruled him out of any playing part in the 2013 tour to Australia.

He has also played in three Wales Grand Slams - 2005, 2008 and 2012 - and led them to their title-winning 30-3 win over England in the 2013 tournament in Cardiff.

Scotland have not beaten Wales since 2007 and Saturday's hosts in Cardiff go into the game without silverware to target on the tournament's final weekend for the first time since 2010.

Wales have beaten Italy and France in Cardiff, but their bid for a record third successive title faltered in defeat against Ireland in Dublin and ended with a loss against England at Twickenham last weekend.

Ireland and their final round hosts France, along with England who face Italy in Rome, are all still in the running to win the 2014 title.

But Edwards dismissed the belief that Wales v Scotland is a dead rubber, insisting being unbeaten at home with third place up for grabs would be an achievement.

He said: "Since I have been involved [with Wales] we have either come first or fourth in the Six Nations - there has been nothing in between. We are pretty determined to come third.

"It is not a dead rubber. It's still an international match."

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar, one of six starting XV changes, said: "I think the last time was 2010 when we did not have anything to play for on the last weekend. It's a strange feeling for us all."