Jenkins ponders France move
November 16, 2011
Jenkins has enjoyed success while at Cardiff © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins has admitted he is open to offers from France and wants his future to be sorted out sooner rather than later.
The 30-year-old Wales international, who starred in the memorable run to the World Cup semi-finals, is in his eighth season with the Blues having joined following the closure of the Celtic Warriors in 2004. The two-time Lions tourist has become one of the capital side's marquee names, making over 100 appearances, although he was absent through much of last season due to the long-standing calf injury that threatened his World Cup chances.
But, with time running out on his current deal, the 82-cap prop has made it clear that he wants a resolution on where he will be playing his rugby next season as soon as possible.
"I have always extended my contract before it has come towards the end so this is a new experience for me," he said. "I want to get it sorted sooner rather than later, to get it sewn up so I know what I am doing and I can plan things around it.
"My agent is working hard, speaking to the club and I am just waiting for answers. At the moment there is nothing on the table. I am out of contract at the end of the season so I need to play as well as I can and see what happens. I will see what the Blues have to offer, nothing has been said yet about what's happening off the field so I have to concentrate on what happens on the field."
Several Wales stars have made the move to the French Top 14 this season, with James Hook, Lee Byrne and Mike Phillips having departed the Ospreys for Perpignan, Clermont Auvergne and Bayonne respectively. And Jenkins, who is preparing for Friday's Heineken Cup meeting with London Irish, admitted following his international to France would be a "viable option", although he would only move if a prospective club were to allow him to continue to wear the red jersey of his country.
"I will consider everything," said Jenkins, who turns 31 on Thursday. "I am 30 so you never know how long you have got left.
"France is a viable option if it is the right move for me, there is a lot to consider rugby wise, like whether you can play out there and play for Wales."
Jenkins is a certainty to be included in the Wales squad for next month's Millennium Stadium meeting with Australia, and he says it is a major boost that defence coach Shaun Edwards has agreed in principle to continue as part of Warren Gatland's set-up for another four years. Jenkins said: "It is good to see he has signed, I don't think there was too much doubt that he would stay. He has enjoyed the last few years here and was very good at the World Cup."
Wales and Blues' lock Bradley Davies added: "It's great news, the boys enjoy his company. He looks very hard at the game and he is one of the best defence coaches in the world, so it's brilliant news for Wales."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup