Jenkins to captain Wales

2014-11-11 20:39
Gethin Jenkins (AFP Photo)

London - Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins will captain a rejigged Wales team for their clash with Fiji at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday, head coach Warren Gatland announced on Tuesday.

Gatland has elected to make eight changes to the team beaten 33-28 by Australia last weekend, although there is no place in the starting XV for recalled Gloucester fly-half James Hook.

Jenkins takes over from Paul James in the front row, while Scott Baldwin of Ospreys will make his first Wales start at hooker.

Flanker Sam Warburton, the regular captain, is being rested, but there are recalls in the backs for fit-again centre Scott Williams, fly-half Rhys Priestland and scrum-half Mike Phillips.

Priestland replaces Dan Biggar, who suffered a groin injury against the Wallabies, while Liam Williams moves from wing to full-back instead of Leigh Halfpenny, who went off with mild concussion during the Australia game.

Hook, who has won 76 caps, was drafted into the squad following the injury to Biggar, but despite media speculation that he could be named in the team to face Fiji, he was included among the replacements.

"We have made a number of changes, but we are going out there with what we think is a strong side to take on Fiji," Gatland told a press conference.

"We were pleased with the performance last week, and we will be looking to build on that and get the result we want this weekend."

Jenkins is the only surviving member of the Wales starting line-up from their embarrassing 38-34 loss to Fiji in the pool phase of the 2007 World Cup.

The South Sea Islanders also held Wales to a 16-16 draw on their last visit to Cardiff four years ago and Jenkins says his memories of those encounters have only hardened his resolve ahead of Saturday's game.

"I remember drawing with them a few years ago -- there was a down dressing room after that game with them drawing in the last minute -- and I remember the 2007 game in France," said the 108-cap forward.

"They are always going to bring an expansive game and try and take us on out wide. We know what to expect, but we have to concentrate on our game and keep doing the things we did well on Saturday (against Australia).

"Not many of us played in the 2007 game. It was a downpoint in my career and in that of everyone who played, but Saturday is a chance to beat Fiji on our own patch."

After playing Fiji, Gatland's side tackle world champions New Zealand on November 22 before welcoming South Africa to Cardiff a week later.

Fiji began their tour of Europe with a 40-15 defeat by France in Marseille on Saturday.



15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate; 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain)

Substitutes: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 James King, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Cory Allen



Read more on:    gethin jenkins  |  rugby

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