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Jenkins ready to become Wales' fourth centurion

Gethin Jenkins is set to take centre stage for Wales on Saturday by joining Test rugby's exclusive 100-cap club.

Cardiff Blues prop Jenkins, subject to selection, will become only the fourth Welshman to achieve such a feat behind his former team-mates Stephen Jones, Gareth Thomas and Martyn Williams.

But across the front-row from Jenkins against Millennium Stadium visitors Argentina is likely to be a player who has also become an integral part of Wales' forward resources.

Paul James has less than half Jenkins' cap tally, although an appearance this weekend would leave him only three short of 50, yet he has often proved himself as a man for a crisis.

A loosehead prop by trade, James proved an extremely capable duty when Adam Jones limped off last Saturday.

While Wales coach Warren Gatland has other tighthead options in his squad – the likes of Scott Andrews, Aaron Jarvis and recent training group addition Samson Lee – it would be no surprise at all if 31-year-old Bath forward James is asked to do the job.

"You do whatever you need to do," James said. "If that means playing on the tight to help Wales out, then yes.

"I don't class myself as a tighthead, but if you get the opportunity to put on a Welsh jersey you will stick any number on your back.

"If I am asked to do it, I will do it. If I can help Wales out, I will do it. We have got others in the squad as well. We will see.

"The bonus of playing international rugby is you have got guys like Alun-Wyn (Jones) and Warby (Sam Warburton) pushing behind you as well, which makes a massive difference. It helps and gives you confidence."

Belfast Telegraph


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