Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins brought a stellar professional rugby career to a close on Sunday in appropriate fashion by being part of a 37-0 home victory over Zebre Rugby Club in the Guinness PRO14.
The 37-year-old, who received a standing ovation when he came off the bench in the second half at Cardiff Arms Park, hung up his boots just three short of a century of European appearances, after winning the European Cup and the Challenge Cup once each.
Wales’ record cap-holder made his European debut with Pontypridd in 2001 and reached the Challenge Cup final that season, only for the Welsh side to be beaten 25-22 by Sale Sharks.
After a season with Celtic Warriors in 2003/04, when he made his European Cup debut, the British and Irish Lion joined Cardiff Blues in 2004 and tasted Challenge Cup success six years later, skippering the Blues to a 28-21 success against RC Toulon in the final.
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) November 4, 2018
It was with Toulon that he gained his European Cup winners’ medal, helping the French side defeat ASM Clermont Auvergne 16-15 in a tense Dublin final in 2013 as a second-half replacement.
In so doing, Jenkins, who won 129 caps for Wales, became only the second Welshman to win both European Cup and Challenge Cup.
After that one campaign with Toulon he returned to Cardiff Blues and helped the Welsh region reach the Challenge Cup final last season, featuring four times in the Blues’ run to the Bilbao decider. However, he missed the dramatic 31-30 success against Gloucester Rugby due to injury.
The former Wales captain finished with a tally of 60 appearances in the European Cup and 37 in the Challenge Cup, where he scored all four of his European tries.
Brings a tear to the eye 😢 Cardiff Blues and world rugby legends join the tribute for @gethinjenkins1 following his retirement last night! @BrianODriscoll @martynewilliams @FFilise @samwarburton_ @EllisJenkins_ @dillon3_ @giteau_rugby @TomShanklin @Gareth_Anscombe @CyrilSneer82 pic.twitter.com/s59vRxJGMQ
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) November 5, 2018
He will now take up a coaching role within the Cardiff Blues academy.