6:30am Saturday 30th November 2013
By Iwan Gabe Davies
GETHIN Jenkins becomes Wales’ most capped forward this evening when he overtakes his old Cardiff Blues friend and teammate Martyn Williams.
Loosehead prop Jenkins played in his 100th Test for his country in their record 40-6 win over Argentina a fortnight ago, a day before he celebrated his 33rd birthday.
Reaching 101 when he takes the field against Australia today, he hopes he celebrates this new milestone with a rare victory over the Wallabies.
Jenkins missed out on playing for the British and Irish Lions on their successful tour Down Under after aggravating his calf while playing for his then club Toulon in winning the Heineken Cup final against Clermont Auvergne in May.
He travelled with the Lions party but was forced to fly home before the first Test which the tourists won in heart-stopping fashion 23-21.
Missing the 2-1 series triumph has been tough on Jenkins who has played against the Wallabies 12 times for Wales but only been on the winning side once.
That was the last time the Australians fell to the Welsh, a 21-18 defeat in 2008 at the Millennium Stadium.
Jenkins was part of the Gareth Jenkins’ team which drew 29-29 with them in 2006 but was on the losing side for the remaining ten and he is looking desperately to get one over such a resilient opponent again who have won eight on the bounce against Wales over the past five years.
“I missed the (24-22) win in 2005 but I played in 2008,” he said. “It seems like donkeys’ years ago. They've had the better of us so many times over the past five years.
“No-one likes losing, but they are a good team. It does get you down, but there are circumstances that lead to that.
“We're working as hard as we can. It's not like we look at the southern hemisphere and think: 'We're struggling there'. They're really good teams and they play in a really good competition in the Rugby Championship.
“They always seem to have that little bit of an edge on us. We've been playing catch-up over the past four or five years, but we will continue to work to get to that level.”
On overtaking openside flanker Williams as his country’s most capped forward, which will also put him just three behind Stephen Jones’ all-time record, Jenkins said: “I don't think Martyn'll be too happy! He wasn't too happy that I'd equalled him.
“He'll obviously wish me all the best. I don't think he'll be too happy that he can't get introduced as Wales's most capped forward anymore!
“Steve is on 104. That's the next target, but I'll take it one game at a time.”
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