Wales and Lions prop Gethin Jenkins has no retirement plans

Gethin Jenkins
Gethin Jenkins played on the 2005 and 2009 British and Irish Lions tours

Wales and British and Irish Lions prop Gethin Jenkins says he has no plans to retire after being awarded a testimonial year for 2016-17.

The 35-year-old's current Cardiff Blues deal is until the summer of 2017 and he hopes to extend his Welsh record of 126 international caps in November.

"I was lucky enough to start two games in New Zealand," he said.

"There is a lot of competition but I still have ambitions to keep going at that level."

Jenkins is the most-capped international still playing at the highest level and the triple Grand Slam winner hopes coach Warren Gatland will pick him in Wales' squad for their autumn games against Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa.

"I enjoy that level, it's a big test of your physical and mental attributes and I want to keep going at that level," said Jenkins, who started in Wales' first two defeats by New Zealand in June before missing the third Test with a calf injury.

Most capped rugby players
PlayerInternational teamCaps
Richie McCawNew Zealand148
George GreganAustralia139
Brian O'DriscollIreland133 (plus eight more for Lions)
Keven MealamuNew Zealand132
Gethin JenkinsWales126 (plus five more for Lions)

"I will hopefully get selected for the autumn, but my focus is getting back for the Cardiff Blues.

"It's always on the back of a coach's mind that he needs to bring players through for the next World Cup and I suppose that happened during the Six Nations where I was on the bench for all of the games.

"I'd just like to think I've still got a bit to offer and my experience will hopefully rub off on players that are coming through and pushing for that position. Hopefully I can leave the jersey in a good place then."

Jenkins is "honoured" to be given a testimonial year and says it will be a "celebration" of a career that has spanned 16 years since his debut for Pontypridd.

Jenkins has won four Six Nations titles and three Grand Slams in an illustrious career and, with Rob Howley, he is one of just two Welsh rugby players to have won both European cups.

The Beddau-bred loose-head helped Blues win the Challenge Cup in 2010 and Toulon win the Heineken Cup in 2013.

"Every player will say that their first cap for Wales is a massive achievement," said Jenkins.

"You still cherish every jersey and every game you play. You don't know what it is until you've lost it.

"Looking back sometimes it does give me memories to cherish.

"The Grand Slam in 2005 against Ireland, the first one in Wales for 27 years, was probably the best game I've ever played in. It was the best atmosphere, the best atmosphere round town."