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Six Nations Rugby: Gethin Jenkins planning Millennium Stadium magic


Bit of previous: Gethin Jenkins has shone against Ireland before

Bit of previous: Gethin Jenkins has shone against Ireland before

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Bit of previous: Gethin Jenkins has shone against Ireland before

Gethin Jenkins, Wales' Grand Slam hero of 10 years ago, is out to create more unwelcome history for Ireland.

The prop's hack-through and touchdown in 2005 helped Wales to their first victory over their Celtic rivals at home in 22 years and their first Grand Slam since 1978.

Ireland are the ones with a clean sweep in their sights a decade later after brushing aside England, France and Italy.

But Jenkins is hoping for more Millennium Stadium magic on Saturday.

He said: "It was a long time ago, a crazy, crazy day. It was the first Grand Slam for Wales in I don't know how many years. It was my first try of note for Wales.

"It was a magical atmosphere and a great occasion. Ten years on there's a little bit of a different scenario. We are the underdogs here, Ireland have got it all to lose.

"We're looking to win the championship but we have to put a good performance in to beat them because they have been on top of us in the last couple of years."

Wales can still lift the Six Nations crown if they beat Ireland and rack up the points against Italy on the final Saturday of action.

But Joe Schmidt's side are hoping to give Paul O'Connell the perfect present on his 100th cap.

Jenkins and O'Connell have travelled on three British & Irish Lions tours together, and he reckons his leadership is invaluable to Ireland.

He said: "I first played with him on the 2005 Lions tour of New Zealand. Even then he was a great leader. He leads from the front.

"He speaks well but you want to follow him on the field, you don't want to let him down or be the one that lets a whole side down.

"He's been so durable. There was a time when he had a few injuries and perhaps people doubted him but he's come back strong. He's a big part of that Irish team, you can tell he makes them tick.

"We know his strengths and why he does it so well because quite a few of the boys who went on the Lions tour in 2013 have an insight into that."

Belfast Telegraph