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Jenkins Back For Wales

Jenkins Back For Wales

Pontypridd’s veteran outside-half Neil Jenkins will win his 87th cap when Wales take on Romania at Wrexham’s Racecourse Course ground. (Kick off 7.30pm).

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And the 31-year-old is immediately targeting a place in the Wales side for next year’s World Cup in Australia.

He said: “It’s great to be involved in the Welsh set-up again. It was a pretty frustrating time while I was out injured and I can’t wait for Friday night.

“Steve Hansen has given me an opportunity to show that I can still perform at the highest level and I intend to take it with both hands.

“The World Cup is a long way off but I don’t think I’m too old to make it. I would be wasting my time and Steve Hansen’s time if I didn’t think it was a realistic target.”

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And Jenkins, Wales’ record points scorer with 1,029 points, has warned his team-mates not to write off their Romanian opponents.

“The days when you could expect a one-sided match against Romania have gone,” said Jenkins.

“Their recent match at Ireland showed that they can now handle their own on the international stage.”

Jenkins has been in fine form for Pontypridd this season. On three occasions he has broken the 20-point barrier. Against Bridgend in Round 3 of the Celtic League, he helped himself to 21 points with seven penalty goals. The following round he scored 23 points (one conversion, six penalty goals and one dropped-goal), and against Rugby Roma in Round 1 leg 1 of the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP he scored 25 points with one try, seven conversions and two penalty-goals.

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Pontypridd have six players in the Wales XV – a club record, and Ponty are well represented in the front eight, with Gethin Jenkins (loosehead prop), Mefin Davies (hooker), Robert Sidoli (lock) and Michael Owen (flanker) all starting.

For New Zealand born Sonny Parker and Welshman Gethin Jenkins – who was born in Church Village two miles outside Pontypridd – the day will be particularly special as they win their first caps.

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