Blog Banner

Gethin Jenkins returns to action in Celtic Cup

5th October 2018

Gethin Jenkins is set to return to action in Cardiff Blues A's Celtic Cup clash against Connacht Eagles, as he continues his rehabilitation.

Wales most-capped international has been out-of-action since the sensational Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Pau, but will start at loosehead in Galway on Saturday.

Wales’ Capital Region head to The Sportsground on the back of two narrow home losses against Ulster A and Munster A.

Jenkins, who is the side’s defence coach, is one of eight changes made to Richie Rees’ side, which will be captained by Alun Lawrence.

A new-look front-row sees Liam Belcher and Keiron Assiratti drafted into the starting line-up, while the other change amongst the pack sees University of South Wales’ Sion Edwards named at openside flanker.

Dan Fish, who impressed from the bench against Munster A last week, has been given the nod at outside half, and will be partnered by Dane Blacker, who replaces Lewis Jones in the number nine jersey.

There is also a new centre partnership, with Harri Millard and Cam Lewis selected, while the back three remains unchanged from last week’s thrilling clash at the Arms Park.

Head coach Richie Rees belives the presence of Jenkins will be a huge boost for the side’s youngsters, and hopes his side can take positives from the previous two weeks in order to give themselves the best chance of securing a win in Galway.

“We’ve shown in parts over the last few weeks that we’re more than capable of beating these sides, but must learn to put in a complete performance if we’re to secure the result,” said Rees.

“We’ve let ourselves down in areas, but we’re worked hard on identifying and improving those areas in training, and the attitude from the boys throughout the week has been excellent.

“After winning the opening game against Dragons, we do feel that we could be sitting here with three wins from four games, but that’s the harsh lessons of professional rugby that will all learn from in this process.

“Having the experience and quality of Wales most capped international in Gethin will be massive for this side. He sets the standard both on and off the field, and he’s the type of player who will lift those around him.

“He knows this group well, having worked with them on the training pitch over the last few weeks, but playing alongside him will be another fantastic experience for the younger players.”

Options from the bench include the likes of Ethan Lewis, Rhys Carre and Lewis Jones, who have all gained experience at Guinness PRO14 level.

Cardiff Blues A: Tom Williams; Aled Summerhill, Cam Lewis, Harri Millard, Tom James; Dan Fish, Dane Blacker; Gethin Jenkins, Liam Belcher, Keiron Assiratti, Shane Lewis-Hughes, James Down, Sion Bennett, Sion Edwards, Alun Lawrence (capt)

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Rhys Carre, Will Davies King, Callum Bradbury, Ioan Rhys Davies, Lewis Jones, Ben Thomas, Max Llewellyn