British Lion, Wales and Cardiff legend Gethin Jenkins has announced he will retire from rugby following Sunday’s game with Zebre.
Gethin Jenkins, Wales’ most capped player ever, leaves the game as one of the greatest of all time.
His incredible roll-call of trophies and records includes;
- Three-time tourist with the British and Irish Lions (2005, 2009, 2013)
- 4 Six Nations titles with Wales
- 3 Grand Slams (2005, 2008, 2012)
- 1 European Heineken Cup title with Toulon (2013)
- 2 European Challange Cups with Cardiff Blues (2010, 2018)
- EDF Anglo-Welsh Cup winner with Cardiff Blues (2009)
- Wales’ most capped player with 129 appearances
- The world’s most capped prop
- 194 matches for Cardiff Blues (2nd highest of all time) and former club captain
The news comes just a few months after club and international teammate, Sam Warburton, also retired from the game. The pair were 2 of the most respected and decorated players of all time, and leave huge holes in the Cardiff Blues squad.
Gethin, affectionately known as Melon by fans and teammates, was one of the game’s quieter characters, shying away from the spotlight preferring to do his talking on the pitch. However, he was an immensely influential figure in the changing room and demanded excellence from those around him.
When Gethin joined Cardiff Blues in 2004, he was a completely new breed of prop and has since set the bar for others in his position. Traditionally, props were the big, heavy players who weren’t expected to last much more than 50 minutes, but Gethin changes all of that.
Fitter, faster and offering more in open play than Wales had ever seen for someone in his position, he changed the way props play the game, often doing the work of an extra flanker.
“I’m very grateful to Peter Thomas, the entire club and its brilliant supporters for everything they have given me over the years.
I’m very proud of everything I have achieved in my career, particularly captaining the Blues in the previous three seasons. None of it would have been possible without my parents and the 2005 Grand Slam always stands out as Mum and Dad were both there supporting me.”Gethin Jenkins
Fans will have one last chance to show their appreciation for Jenkins, with the prop set to feature in Sunday’s game against Zebre before hanging up his boots and Cardiff Blues are offering a special discount to mark the occasion.
Thankfully, Gethin won’t be leaving the region completely after Sunday. He will take up a coaching role with the Academy, where his vast experience and knowledge will prove invaluable.
Images c/o: Huw Evans Picture Agency