Rugby Union: Wales keep faith in admonished Jenkins: Davies warns hooker over conduct in run-up to Irish contest

Click to follow
The Independent Online
NOW the Scottish Rugby Union has got in on the act by asking what its Welsh counterpart was going to do about Garin Jenkins, the fighting hooker. To which the Welsh replied by keeping him in the team to face Ireland at Lansdowne Road a week tomorrow.

Jenkins's flailing fists in Wales's 29-6 win over Scotland on 15 January have already been the subject of a formal complaint to the police by an Edinburgh lawyer. However, the intervention of the SRU secretary, Bill Hogg, is disingenuous in the extreme. In fact, it will ensure that an eagle eye is kept out for any Scottish indiscretions when England play at Murrayfield.

Hogg has already had a dusty response along the lines of beams and motes, but Jenkins will still have to watch his step - literally and figuratively - in Dublin. More of the same will certainly see him dropped from the team, according to the Wales coach, Alan Davies, when he named his team yesterday.

'Those people who complained about that behaviour were quite right and I can assure you it is not something that will be tolerated again,' Davies said. He and Robert Norster, the team manager, are now saying that Jenkins was admonished immediately after the Scotland game.

The selection shows only one change - and that enforced - from the starting line-up against the Scots. Mike Rayer is awarded the doubtful distinction of being dropped after scoring two tries. The Cardiff full-back, who replaced the injured Olympic hurdler Nigel Walker on the wing 11 minutes into that match, is himself displaced by Wayne Proctor even though Proctor has not played competitively since mid-December.

The tactical kicking of Eric Elwood, Ireland's fly-half, was the most persuasive argument in Proctor's favour. He expects to return for Llanelli against Cardiff tomorrow to prove his fitness after a hamstring injury. 'Wayne is an out-and-out left- winger and against the abilities of somebody like Elwood we need players to be playing in position,' Davies added.

The Northampton captain, John Olver, capped three times and 32 times England's reserve hooker since 1988, yesterday retired from all rugby after receiving a gloomy diagnosis from a specialist on his long- term Achilles tendon injury.

WALES (v Ireland, Dublin, 5 February): A Clement (Swansea); I Evans (Llanelli, capt), M Hall (Cardiff), N Davies, W Proctor (Llanelli); N Jenkins (Pontypridd), R Moon; R Evans (Llanelli), G Jenkins (Swansea), J Davies (Neath), P Davies (Llanelli), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath), E Lewis, S Quinnell, M Perego (Llanelli). Replacements: M Rayer, S Hill (Cardiff), R Jones, R McBryde (Swansea), H Williams-Jones, A Copsey (Llanelli).

Comments