British & Irish Lions 2013
Jenkins plays down potential fixture clash
September 11, 2012
Gethin Jenkins toured with the Lions back in 2009 © PA Photos
Toulon prop Gethin Jenkins is adamant that he is focused on his present task of guiding the French side to the summit of the Top 14 Orange despite the potential furore over a clash between club and country.
Jenkins is in the frame for a place on the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia next summer but with Toulon going well in the French league, there is a chance that they will be in the final of the competition on June 1- the same day that the Lions play the Barbarians in Hong Kong. However, IRB rules state that players must be released five days prior to a Lions tour as it is a "designated event".
This is all teeing up a potential clash between the Lions and Toulon with Jenkins one of their stellar players. But despite all this, Jenkins is adamant that the Lions tour may not happen for him and he just wants to impress for Toulon.
"I'm not going to worry about it," Jenkins told Wales Online. "Firstly, I'm not guaranteed to be picked by the Lions anyway, it's always on form and I never take anything like that for granted.
"Secondly, it depends on how Toulon do, we have made a good start but there is a long way to go. You never know how we will finish up. And thirdly, if it comes down to it then I guess a decision will just have to be made nearer the time.
"Toulon are my employers, but one of the things I said when I signed was that continuing to play international rugby was very important to me. So they know that. I don't think they would want me to be unhappy."
There is also another potential fixture clash in the pipeline for Jenkins with Wales set to play Australia on December 1. The match falls outside of the international window and Toulon do not have to release the prop for international duty. But again, Jenkins believes that a compromise may be agreed.
"There's been a bit of manoeuvring to see if I can be released for that game (against Australia)," Jenkins said. "We'll see what happens, though again I wouldn't take my selection for granted."
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