Gethin Jenkins: Wales offer former prop full-time defence coach role

Gethin Jenkins played 129 internationals for Wales and won five British and Irish Lions caps
Gethin Jenkins played 129 internationals for Wales and won five British and Irish Lions caps

Wales are preparing to offer Gethin Jenkins the full-time defence coach role.

Byron Hayward left the position following the end of the 2020 Six Nations, with Jenkins taking on the role on a temporary basis for the Autumn Nations Cup.

Now Wales head coach Wayne Pivac wants the 40-year-old on his backroom staff on a permanent basis.

"We would like to offer him the position," said Pivac.

Jenkins replaced Sam Warburton as the technical coach for the breakdown/defence role in October 2020.

The former Wales prop is one of his country's most decorated former players, winning four Six Nations championships - including three Grand Slams - and touring with the British and Irish Lions on three occasions.

After retiring in 2018 Jenkins moved into coaching, taking up roles with Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac believes his squad are good enough to win the 2021 Six Nations

Jenkins has worked with the age-grade and senior sides at Cardiff Blues and more recently was defence coach for Wales Under-20s.

"I spoke to Gethin in the review of the autumn series and it was felt he did a good job," added Pivac.

"He would want to do it full time and he is certainly keen to do it full time. I think he's going to be a very good defence coach.

"We're in a situation right now where it's just about putting paperwork in place and making that happen. I'm very comfortable he will be the guy going forward."

WRU chief executive Steve Phillips added: "We are also delighted to confirm we will be offering Gethin Jenkins the position of defence coach with the Wales national side.

"We are in the process of putting the paperwork in place to confirm the appointment but are happy to share the news that Gethin is Wayne Pivac's chosen candidate after an excellent performance in the role during the recent Autumn Nations Cup."

Captain Alun Wyn Jones and hooker Ken Owens have played a combined total of 220 internationals for Wales
Captain Alun Wyn Jones and hooker Ken Owens have played a combined total of 220 internationals for Wales

Pivac also believes Wales' most senior players, captain Alun Wyn Jones and Ken Owens, should be fit to face Ireland in the tournament opener on 7 February in Cardiff.

Lock Jones has not played since damaging knee ligaments against Italy in early December.

"Alun Wyn Jones is in training with us at the moment and is flying," said Pivac.

"He's on track for the Ireland game and has been named accordingly."

Hooker Owens missed the autumn campaign with a shoulder injury suffered in October while playing for Scarlets against Glasgow.

The Scarlets skipper will be named as a replacement for the Pro14 match against Cardiff Blues on Friday night.

"The great thing is, a bit like Alun Wyn, he's obviously a very good healer because he has come back earlier than anticipated," added Pivac.

"He is playing this Friday off the bench for Scarlets and we will be at that game, fingers crossed we don't pick up any bumps.

"He will be a massive asset for us, 77-odd Tests, a British and Irish Lion. To have him back is wonderful for us. He's been working hard behind the scenes, I've been down to training and seen him doing extras after training.

"He will come in in pretty good shape. All the boys will be tested in week one and we'll know exactly where he's at."

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