Howley has confidence in skipper Jenkins
November 27, 2009
Gethin Jenkins leads Wales against Australia © Getty Images
The loose-head has been handed the captain's armband following a back injury to Ryan Jones and Howley has endorsed his quiet brand of leadership. Backs coach Howley admitted that while he didn't say much, Jenkins had the respect and attention of the squad.
Jones' place in the back-row has been taken by Dragons youngster Dan Lydiate, with Andy Powell shifting to No.8. Jenkins captains Wales for the second time after leading his country against South Africa in 2007.
"We are developing a team of leaders," said Howley. "We are lucky there are a number of captains within the side. Gethin is certainly a player who, over the last six months, has had some great experiences.
"He doesn't say too much, but what he does say, people stand up and listen to. He's captained Wales before, and he has captained the Blues. I think he will be a great leader - he certainly leads by his actions. Australia should have won against Scotland, but they had one of those days at the office, which happens in professional sport. I am sure they have put that game to bed now.
"We've set our standards. It is our stadium, our supporters and we have to make sure it's our game tomorrow. It is important we win in our stadium - we expect that of our players. We set our target, coming in after losing narrowly to New Zealand earlier this month that we need to win the next three games. We've won two, and the next one is tomorrow."
Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde also reminded Jenkins that his performance in the scrum would be vital against a vastly-improved Australian front-row.
"It will be the toughest scrum that we have come up against during this series. It's a step up," he said."They (Australia) were hugely effective against Ireland, and again against Scotland. It will be a hugely-contested area.
"Collectively, they have got a good understanding of what they are trying to get out of the scrum in different areas of the field. It is an area where questions have been asked of us during the autumn series. Up to now, I think we have been able to answer those critics."
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