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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Wales' most capped player to retire this weekend due to 'chronic' knee injury

Gethin Jenkins will call time on his decorated career after Cardiff’s Pro14 clash against Zebre on Sunday.

GETHIN JENKINS, WALES’ most capped international, has announced he will retire from professional rugby this weekend due to a chronic knee injury. 

The 37-year-old has been battling back from the injury for the last three months and despite making two appearances on the comeback trail, will call time on his career after Cardiff Blues’ Pro14 clash against Zebre on Sunday.

Cardiff Blues Gethin Jenkins Jenkins has been battling to come back from a serious knee injury. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Jenkins, who has won 129 Wales caps and five appearances for the Lions across three tours, has been told his right knee ‘is not healthy enough’ to prolong his decorated career any further.  

The prop will bid farewell to the Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday after amassing 194 appearances for the Welsh region, helping the club to two European Challenge Cup titles. 

In a statement today, Jenkins said the pain he has been experiencing in his everyday life in recent months ‘simply isn’t tolerable’ but it is important for him to finish on his own terms.

“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,” he said.

“It’s obviously a big decision but I’ve had a good innings, it’s time to finish and I’m looking forward to one more run out on the weekend and hopefully finishing on a high.

“The pain I have been experiencing from rugby, in my daily life, simply isn’t tolerable but it’s 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.

Wales’s Gethin Jenkins The prop in action against Ireland back in 2016. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

As well as the legacy he will leave at Cardiff, Jenkins played a pivotal role for Wales during their four Six Nations title wins, three of which were Grand Slams, while he also won the Heineken Cup during his season with Toulon back in 2013.

“I have so many memories from over the years and could stay here all day listing them but the biggest thing I will miss is that camaraderie with the boys, the buzz of running out and playing, and the feeling in the changing rooms after a win,” he added.

“I’m very proud of everything I have achieved in my career, particularly captaining the Blues in the previous three seasons. None of it would have been possible without my parents and the 2005 Grand Slam always stands out as Mum and Dad were both there supporting me.”

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Ryan Bailey

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