Wales icon Gethin Jenkins forced into retirement

Gethin Jenkins has played 134 Tests
Gethin Jenkins has played 134 Tests

Wales international Gethin Jenkins has confirmed that the upcoming Pro 14 clash for Cardiff Blues against Zebre on Sunday will be his final game in his playing career.

Jenkins made his Wales debut in 2002 and has represented the country 129 times and was part of the Wales squad that won four Six Nations title including three Grand Slams. He also represented British and Irish Lions five times in 2005 and 2009 tours combined and overall he is the most capped Welsh player and the fourth overall in the history of the game.

Despite the huge success in the game, the 37-year-old was hampered by chronic knee problem and eventually decided to call off his playing career.

"The pain I have been experiencing from rugby, in my daily life, simply isn't tolerable," Jenkins said.

"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.

"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.

"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."

Jenkins had two seperate stint with Cardiff Blues that spanned close to 13 years and won two European Challenge Cup titles with the Welsh regional side. He also enjoyed Heineken Champions Cup victory with Toulon when he represented them during 2012/13 season.

Jenkins will now take up a coaching role with the Blues' academy.

Meanwhile, Blues head coach John Mulvihill paid tributes to Jenkins for his services to the club and the country.

"Gethin Jenkins is a legend of Welsh rugby, a great servant for both club and country and it is fitting that he finishes his career in front of his home crowd at Cardiff Arms Park.

"After early discussions it was always my intention to have Gethin decide when he would like to call an end to this playing career.

"He will be a massive loss to us in a playing sense but his presence and intellectual property as a coach will be a great asset to us going forward.

"After 13 seasons at Cardiff Blues, at the top of his game, this weekend marks the end of an era at the club."

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