Jenkins attacks WRU over 'underhand' Ruddock appointment

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The Independent Online

Gareth Jenkins launched a scathing attack on the Welsh Rugby Union yesterday for the way they conducted the appointment of Mike Ruddock as the new national coach.

Gareth Jenkins launched a scathing attack on the Welsh Rugby Union yesterday for the way they conducted the appointment of Mike Ruddock as the new national coach.

The Llanelli Scarlets director of rugby, a clear favourite to succeed Steve Hansen, last week said he was "publicly humiliated" when the union announced the appointment of the Newport-Gwent Dragons' coach Ruddock, who had not even applied for the job. Jenkins and Mark Evans of Harlequins had been the only two candidates on the final shortlist.

Yesterday, Jenkins accused the five-strong selection panel, which included the group chief executive, David Moffett, and the chairman, David Pickering, of lacking integrity, ethics and respect, as well as leaking confidential information from the interviews to the press and being "underhand" in head-hunting Ruddock at the last moment.

"I clearly felt there was something going on at the selection process," he said. "There was someone in the group who showed a total lack of integrity and respect for the process, and I found that hard to deal with. Obviously someone was comfortable spinning with the emotions of the public, myself and Mark Evans when knowing quite well that I was not an option to go with.

"Where I felt let down was that if I wasn't the candidate of choice, then I felt that I was entitled to know. What I expected, like anyone else, was transparency."

Asked about his ambitions for coaching Wales, Jenkins said: "I wouldn't be very comfortable working with this group of people, having been dealt with the way I have. I always want to represent my country, I am proud of my country, but I would like to choose the people I work with and I wouldn't want to choose these people who have been involved in this process."

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