Six Nations 2014: Wales v Scotland - King of the loose-heads Jenkins to break Wales caps record


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The Independent Online

When Scotland last defeated Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Gethin Jenkins was nine months away from his debut.

Today Jenkins will lead out Wales for a record 105th cap, surpassing Stephen Jones’ tally, in a contest between the fourth and fifth-placed sides in this year’s Six Nations.

Wales’ hopes of a hat-trick of titles were buried by England at Twickenham six days ago. Jenkins was forced to sit out 10 minutes of the 29-18 defeat to England after being penalised for repeatedly driving across David Wilson in the front-row exchanges, but he keeps his place in the starting line-up while fellow prop Adam Jones is dropped for the first time since 2007.

Jones described his fellow prop as “harshly dealt with” and hailed him as “probably the best northern-hemisphere loose-head in the last 20 or 30 years”. Jones added: “You don’t get more than 100 caps and three Lions tours for nothing, so he’ll get over it. He’s very self-confident. It’s a massive achievement to become the most capped player”.

Tight-head prop Adam Jones has been dropped from the Wales team for the first time since 2007 (Getty Images)

Wales have made six changes: Dan Biggar replaces Rhys Priestland at fly-half and Mike Phillips comes in for the injured Rhys Webbs at No 9. Influential Leigh Halfpenny is out of action with a dislocated right shoulder and Liam Williams deputises, while Ken Owens and Rhodri Jones are drafted into the front row for Adam Jones and Richard Hibbard. Luke Charteris is back in the second row in place of Jake Ball.

Wing Dougie Fife makes his debut for the Scots, the 16th player to be blooded by Scott Johnson in his brief tenure, which ends after this game as he takes up the position of director of rugby. Ryan Wilson comes into the back row for the injured Johnnie Beattie.

Wales: L Williams; A Cuthbert, J Davies, J Roberts, G North; D Biggar, M Phillips; G Jenkins, K Owens, R Jones; L Charteris, AW Jones; D Lydiate, S Warburton, T Faletau. Replacements: R Hibbard, P James, A Jones, J Ball, J Tipuric, R Williams, R Priestland, J Hook Scotland: S Hogg; D Fife, A Dunbar, M Scott, M Evans; D Weir, G Laidlaw; R Grant, S Lawson, G Cross, R Gray, J Hamilton, R Wilson, K Brown, D Denton. Replacements: R Ford, A Dickinson, E Murray, T Swinson, A Strokosch, C Cusiter, D Taylor, J Cuthbert.