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Jenkins set for PRO14 comeback

First Team News | 18th February 2021

Ellis Jenkins will return to Guinness Pro14 action in Cardiff Blues clash against Connacht on Saturday.

The club captain has not featured in the Championship since facing the Dragons in October 2018, after a well-documented knee injury kept him on the sidelines for more than two years.

His patience paid off as he made a try-scoring return to action in last week’s friendly victory over the Ospreys and now he is set to pull on the number seven jersey once more.

Cardiff Blues interim Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “Ellis will definitely be involved. Obviously I am very protective of all players and Ellis in these circumstances, we will do the right thing by him. 

“He will definitely be involved but we don’t see him playing 80 minutes. We would want him to start because it’s much easier for someone coming back from injury to start and he showed last week in 40 minutes that it isn’t an issue. 

“We will get him out there and we’re looking forward to him building on what must have been a big game mentally for him (against the Ospreys). 

“He did a great job, got better as the game went on, more confident as the game went on and walked off with a smile on his face, which was the important thing.”

Jenkins will undoubtedly bring added experience and leadership as he returns to competitive rugby and Young’s squad will be further boosted by the vastly experienced Rhys Priestland next season.

The 50-cap Wales international will move to the Arms Park in the summer and Young is hugely excited about the prospect of the fly-half competing with the likes of Jarrod Evans and developing those around him.

Young added: “I’m not going to pretend it was my signing as it was done prior to me coming on board but it is a fantastic signing. The experience and know how that he can bring to a squad and part of the role is to keep on the improvement with Jarrod.

“Jarrod is a young man and he is excited about working with Rhys as well so it’s a fantastic signing by the club.

“It would be a nightmare scenario to bring someone like Rhys on board and then lose Jarrod but that’s not the intention. You can never be over confident but we are pretty confident that Jarrod wants to stay and hopefully we’ll get it over the line sooner rather than later. He’s a big part of our plans and it’s a case of them working together and not either or.

“It certainly makes my job a lot easier and if you have two or three players vying for the same position, of real quality, then they only push each other to higher levels. It means you can look after them properly, rest them when they need to be rested, you don’t overplay players and give them a chance to reflect and improve. It’s a win-win.”