Rugby

Ellis Jenkins welcoming backrow competition

2018-06-19 17:30
Ellis Jenkins
Ellis Jenkins (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Loose forward Ellis Jenkins believes Wales' strength in depth, especially in the back-row stocks, can push the squad on to even greater heights next season. 

Warren Gatland's side have just completed a clean sweep of victories this summer including a first test series win in Argentina since 1999.

And with many players blooded this summer the Cardiff Blues star reckons the increased competition for places will drive up their standards. 

"It's something that we thrive on and the fact that there is so much competition pushes us all to be better and pushes our performances," Jenkins said. 

"I think you see that when the boys are playing for their regions and internationally as well everyone has to be on their toes and put in their best performances or someone's there waiting to take your position. 

"It's about discovering some strength in depth and the boys knew, including myself that there was an opportunity to put your hand up and in the mix for World Cup selection.

Lots of boys in different positions have done that and Gats has spoken about the headaches he's got which is only a good thing for us. 

"You look at the last World Cup and a couple of injuries late on maybe hampered us a little bit and we're hoping that if something similar happens this time there will be some boys to step in and ready to go." 

But despite some stand out performances for the Welsh co-captain this summer Jenkins is well aware he cannot rest on his laurels given the backrow riches available to Gatland.

The 25-year-old formed a formidable dual openside partnership with Scarlets star James Davies in Santa Fe. 

"I'm not sure if playing both blindside and openside will benefit me going into the World Cup," he said. 

"You take a really small squad of only 31 and potentially only five backrow players will go so I guess it probably would help a little bit but you just have to be one of the best five backrow playing at the time I think. 

"It's been a season of two halves really. It got off to a bit of a stinker with my injury but I've enjoyed playing for the Blues this second half of the season. 

"Getting on this tour and winning three from three is exactly what we wanted so it's a nice way to finish the season."

Read more on:    wales  |  rugby
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