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Fitness race for Jenkins

Wales prop Gethin Jenkins looks set for a race against time to make his country's RBS 6 Nations opener against Ireland in Dublin.

Jenkins went off six minutes before half-time as Cardiff Blues reached the Heineken Cup quarter-finals with a 36-30 Pool Two home victory over Racing Metro, and could be a doubt when Wales begin their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Dublin on February 5.

"It is very early to say," Blues backs coach Gareth Baber said, when asked about former Wales captain Jenkins's injury. "Over the next 24 to 48 hours we will get more information. I think he has tweaked a ligament in his knee. I am not sure what 'tweaked' means, to be quite honest with you, whether it means he is just hurting a little bit and it will sort itself out, or anything further."

Despite Jenkins's early exit, the Blues secured a last-eight berth - albeit away against Heineken Cup holders Leinster - thanks to wing Alex Cuthbert's try double, a Lloyd Williams touchdown and 21 points from full-back Leigh Halfpenny, including five penalties.

Edinburgh's bonus-point win against London Irish at Murrayfield, though, means the Blues qualify as best runners-up and not Pool Two top dogs, travelling to Dublin in early April.

Had the Blues scored a fourth try, they would have won the group and enjoyed the advantage of a home quarter-final.

Racing pushed them all the way, scoring tries through their former Exeter full-back Josh Matavesi and wing Sireli Bobo, with fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski kicking three penalties, centre Francois Steyn two and scrum-half Sebastien Descons a conversion and penalty.

"We are absolutely over the moon to be in the quarter-final of the European Cup," Baber added. "We targeted being in it, and we have fulfilled our target.

"This competition throughout the whole weekend has thrown up little scenarios. Hats off to Edinburgh, they got their four tries today. We scored three, and it was always going to be as close as that.

"We met a big, physical Racing side today who were on their mettle. We managed to score three tries, but we couldn't sneak a fourth. I think Racing wanted to sign off from this season's tournament by putting as much pressure as they could on us."


From Belfast Telegraph