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Jenkins one of six to face the Chiefs

12th June 2016

Just three days after winning his first cap, Ellis Jenkins will make his first start for Wales with six Cardiff Blues included to face the Chiefs on Tuesday.

The openside flanker who won the region’s Players’ Player of the Year award, was a late injury call-up for the tour of New Zealand.

He came off the bench in the 39-21 defeat to the All Blacks on Saturday, and impressed with a turnover, but will start against Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs.

New signing Matthew Morgan, Tom James and Josh Turnbull join Jenkins in the starting line-up, while Kristian Dacey and Gareth Anscombe are on the bench.

There is also a place on the bench for Rhys Patchell, who has now joined the Scarlets, but has been rewarded for his fine form for Wales’ Capital Region last season.

Reflecting on his Wales debut and looking ahead to the remainder of the tour Jenkins said: “It was pretty emotional. They told a couple of boys they were going on a few minutes before and decided last minute I was going on. 

“I didn’t have time to think about it, it was just jacket off and before I knew it I was straight into the mix – I enjoyed every minute.

“It was a huge occasion, a huge ground as well at Eden Park and to win my first cap here was pretty special.

“I’m disappointed with the result, we played some good stuff in patches and had a lot of chances but ran out of steam in the end. 

“But we definitely showed glimpses of what we can do and we can go into the next two to put things right.

“It’s definitely a step up and will take some getting used to but I think I did okay when I came on but there’s only one way to gain experience at this level and that’ to play. 

“All the boys have been great, since I got called up they have been helping me get up to speed with all the calls and everything. 

“That’s testament to how close this squad is and to get a turnover is a big plus for me but there’s plenty to work on.”

Jenkins was joined in Auckland by his parents who made the last minute flight Down Under after Dad, Adam, took part in the #StayStrongForOws bike ride from BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park to Amsterdam.

He added: “My parents have been taking me to training at 7, 8 o-clock in the morning since I was 14 and it was really nice to share the moment with them.”

Matthew Morgan (Cardiff Blues), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Tom James (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby) Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), James King (Ospreys).

Replacements: Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Aled Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets).