CARDIFF – Wales record cap-holder Gethin Jenkins's final appearance as a player before retiring saw the prop bow out during Cardiff Blues' 37-0 win at home to Zebre in the Pro14 on Sunday.
Jenkins, capped 129 times by Wales, came on in the 57th minute at Cardiff's Arms Park ground for what was his 195th Blues appearance against a depleted Zebre side, missing several Italy players on Test duty.
Speaking before Sunday's match, the 37-year-old Jenkins, who has been struggling with a chronic knee injury, said: “I have been working hard rehabbing over the last three months and I was confident I was going to be back playing, so it's disappointing to be retiring after Sunday's game against Zebre.
“It's obviously a big decision, but I've had a good innings, it's time to finish and I am looking forward to one more run-out on the weekend and hopefully finishing on a high.”
5️⃣ @britishandirishlions caps
1️⃣2️⃣9️⃣ @walesrugbyunion caps
1️⃣9️⃣5️⃣ @cardiff_blues caps
🏆🏆🏆🏆 @sixnationsrugby (Including three Grand Slams)
🏆🏆 European Challenge Cups
🏆 Anglo-Welsh Cup#thankyougethin #diolchgethin pic.twitter.com/EViutyuQsO
Jenkins, who made his Wales debut in 2002, added: “The pain I have been experiencing from rugby, in my daily life, simply isn't tolerable, but it is important to me that after all the work I have put in, I run out with my team one last time and finish on my own terms.”
Jenkins, who captained Wales during an international career that saw him play a key role in three Six Nations Grand Slams, is now set to take up a coaching role with the Blues' academy.
His tally of 134 caps - Jenkins also played five internationals for the British and Irish Lions - leaves him fifth on an all-time list headed by World Cup-winning former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, who made 148 Test appearances for the All Blacks.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)