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Jenkins backs Bar-Bars caps

Neil Jenkins has defended the Welsh Rugby Union's decision to award Test caps for the June 4 game against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium.

The WRU announced on April 1 they would be awarding international honours for a fixture which has been arranged to mark the 130th anniversary of the union. Jenkins played for Wales against the Barbarians on three occasions and backed the WRU's decision - but insisted Wales would treat the game as a Test match whatever status it held.

"This is our next Test match and a great opportunity for the players to eradicate the memory of losing in France on that final weekend of the Six Nations," said Jenkins, who is now a skills coach for the national team.

"We would have a long time to wait until August to continue our World Cup preparations without this game and we will be looking for a win and a good win at that.

"The Barbarians present an entirely different challenge, they have a long and illustrious history and awarding caps for the match in the WRU's 130th year is a great way to show our respect for that history.

"This game will be great preparation for us, caps or no caps, it's a major Test match it's a simple as that and we will be desperate to get a result."

Wales have played the Barbarians on six occasions, with two of them considered full cap internationals - in 1990 to mark the Baa-Baas' centenary and in 1996.

Jenkins accepted there is an argument that the WRU are being inconsistent about what counts as a capped international.

"Maybe there is an argument to say we should have consistency going forward, that the games should all be capped or none of them should," Jenkins added.

"But all I know is I've got 87 caps and I've enjoyed both playing for and against the Baa-Baas in some great games in my career. I've no desire to be handed any more retrospectively but I won't be giving any back either!"

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