Blues call for patience from Jenkins
January 18, 2012
Gethin Jenkins is a man in demand © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues boss Peter Thomas has asked Gethin Jenkins to delay the decision over his future to allow the region to make the Test prop a contract offer.
The Blues are prevented from offering the British & Irish Lions loose-head an offer until the Welsh Rugby Union's auditors - Pricewaterhouse Coopers - have completed their financial review of the game in Wales. A decision is expected in March but until then, the Blues' hands are effectively tied. And with the likes of Toulon, Perpignan and Bath circling the Wales prop, Thomas is fearful of Jenkins making up his mind over his future before the Blues have even had a chance to offer him a package of their own.
"We are doing everything we possibly can to keep Gethin here," Thomas told Wales Online. "It goes without saying that he is up there as one of the very best props in the world. He's an amazing player and his dedication to the Blues is unquestionable.
"I am hoping he will stay here in Wales with us, but we are not in a position to finalise negotiations with him. We have a new wage cap of £3.5m coming in and we are working to get our squad in place within that cap.
"We are also working with the governing body who are undertaking a report on the sustainability of the game in Wales. My understanding is the Pricewaterhouse report should be ready some time in March.
"Until all these matters are concluded, we are not going to be in a position to make Gethin an offer. I would just ask him to be patient. I have told him we are trying desperately hard, along with the governing body, to find a solution to keep him in Wales.
"He is a top-level player and should be paid at the top level. It's a question of whether we can afford that. Until the Pricewaterhouse report is out and we can discuss it further with the WRU, we will not be in a position to conclude that yet.
Jenkins is not the only top-level player pondering a move overseas. Fellow Welsh front-row Adam Jones is also considering moving away from the Ospreys but Jenkins' team-mate Jamie Roberts rubbished reports linking him with a switch to Toulouse. But Thomas is aware that Jenkins may be getting itchy feet over the lack of contract negotiations.
"Gethin is obviously concerned," Thomas said. "He would like to get it done sooner rather than later and he is astute enough to realise that he could command a position in any team in Europe.
"I sincerely hope he can wait for matters to be resolved here in Wales. And I just hope that his patience will be rewarded."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success