Toulon unwilling to release Jenkins
September 7, 2012
Gethin Jenkins is unlikely to face Australia on December 1 © Getty Images
Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has confirmed that they will not release Wales prop Gethin Jenkins for the Test match with Australia on December 1.
Toulon are playing Grenoble the same day and as the Wales Test match falls outside of the official international window, the French side are under no obligation to release the prop for Test duty. Laporte and Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal met Lions boss Warren Gatland and interim Wales coach Rob Howley yesterday to discuss the release of their players for Test duty.
The Lions play the Barbarians on June 1- the same day as the Top 14 final - and despite Gatland's wishes to have a full squad present for that match, he may well have to make a difficult call on Jenkins if Toulon reaches the final.
"The chat was very friendly," Laporte told L'Equipe. "We discussed the availability of Gethin Jenkins. We said again that we would not release him to leave with the Lions on May 27 if we are in the final.
"He understood. I think he already knew when he came to the meeting. We did not talk so much about the Lions. It was more about Gethin's availability for the November and the Six Nations.
"On December 1, the Welsh play a Test against Australia outside of the window and we told them that the position of principle was the same as for the Lions tour: 'No'. Toulon play Grenoble on the same day in the Top 14.
"As far as freeing up Gethin (to fly out with the Lions if Toulon reach the Top 14 final), it's a no. You don't pay a player to be playing with the Lions at the most important moment of the season."
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