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Mulvihill confident Cardiff Blues can cope following Jenkins set-back

29th November 2018

John Mulvihill is confident that Cardiff Blues will be able to cope with the loss of captain Ellis Jenkins.

The back row star suffered a major knee injury in the dying moments of his man-of-the-match performance last week, as Wales completed an autumn clean sweep with victory over South Africa.

However, with all eyes on next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, the head coach insists Jenkins has the mentality to bounce back from the set-back.

“We have lost two Wales captains this year in the back-row with Sam Warburton also retiring,” said Mulvihill.

“But Samu Manoa has come back fit after his short stint with the USA, Jim Botham is only a few weeks away and Josh Navidi will start in a few weeks time as well. 

“Olly Robinson has been an absolute trooper for us and keeps on getting better and better each week.

“At the moment, Lloyd Williams will be captain, and has experience in that area, and if or when he’s replaced, Josh Turnbull will be able to step into that role.

“Ellis is someone who has come back from injury before and had setbacks. I am sure he will use that energy he has to make sure that recovery is as swift as possible.

“The Rugby World Cup would be something he would aim for. All guys that go through the rehab process will sit down with the medical staff and will map out their progress from getting off crutches and out of braces to weight bearing and so on.

“His recovery will be mapped out along a time line and guys like him are usually committed to the cause usually beat those time lines when they are set.”

Mulvihill, who attended the Principality Stadium clash, has emphasised the importance of the Cardiff Blues squad rallying around their captain following the injury blow.

Mulvihill said: “Personally for him it will be devastating. I was watching the game and said to the people with me that he was going to be man-of-the-match and he was.

“Thirty seconds later I saw the tackle and the clean-out and I just knew he was there and then.

“It is a big blow for him because he was due to finish the game on a high after being involved with the national team for a good four week block and he put a lot of heart and soul into that.

“It is really disappointing for him and he played fantastically well and sometimes rugby is really cruel.

“We just know it is a significant knee injury at the moment and he needs to consult a surgeon in London to get the final word on what the course of action is.

“However long he is out we will support him along the way. The boys have been great with him around the place. There are going to be some periods in his recovery where he will feel pretty low and we just have to make sure we are there for him.”