Jenkins to miss SA, NZ tour

2010-05-26 22:01

Cardiff - Wales prop Gethin Jenkins has been ruled out of his side's clash with South Africa and the two-Test tour to New Zealand.

Jenkins has a calf muscle injury sustained during Cardiff Blues' European Challenge Cup final win over Toulon and will be sidelined for four to six weeks.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has not yet decided on a squad replacement for the 29-year-old, who has 73 caps for Wales and was a key figure for the British and Irish Lions in South Africa last year.

After next week's meeting with the world champion Springboks in Cardiff, Wales face New Zealand in Dunedin on June 19 and then in Hamilton seven days later.

"Unfortunately, Gethin has a long-standing injury which seems to be recurring quite a lot, and he is looking at four to six weeks out," Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards said.

"Any team losing Gethin is going to be a negative thing. You are losing a British and Irish Lions front-row player - we all know Gethin's capabilities.

"But I am a big believer in that when one door shuts for one person, it opens for someone else.

"We've got a Test match in 10 days' time, and if we continue with the intensity we had in training then it's going to be a rip-roaring affair."

Wales have only beaten South Africa once in their history - a 29-19 success 11 years ago at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

But they may start as favourites this time as the Springboks are without many front-line players, including most of their Bulls and Stormers contingent due to this weekend's Super 14 final.

However, Edwards played down suggestions South Africa might be there for the taking.

"It is a while since we beat South Africa, and we want to make sure we are fully prepared and ready to go, come Saturday week," he said.

"But I found it quite humourous when I heard South Africa had some 'second-string' players, and Butch James' name was mentioned.

"How could you call someone like Butch James, who is a World Cup winner, a second-string player?

"I don't think there is such a thing as a second-string Springboks team. It looks very strong on paper.

"They have got some very talented players, and we are treating it as a full-on Test match, which it is."