Hansen full of praise for Jenkins
June 17, 2003

Wales coach Steve Hansen has hailed the sparkling form of Pontypridd prop Gethin Jenkins.

Hansen labelled his performance against Australia last weekend as 'amazing' and also predicted a bright future for young forwards Jenkins, Robert Sidoli and Jonathan Thomas.

"Gethin Jenkins never ceases to amaze me," Hansen told the Western Mail. "It's only his third start at tight-head prop and he hasn't played a game since playing Wasps back at the end of April, yet he went round against one of the best sides in the world and played the full 80 minutes.

"Not only that but he was up there with the most number of tackles. Tight-head is one of the hardest positions to play because every game you are under pressure and technically if you don't get it right you get dorked.

"Gethin will obviously have times as a tight-head when that happens to him and he will learn from it. The unfortunate thing is that he is having to learn it at the highest level."

"Given time and the right environment to work and develop in, players like Gethin, Robert Sidoli and Jonathan Thomas are going to be very, very good players," he said.

"There's no doubting their natural ability, it's just about harnessing that. Sidoli is maturing fast and I have learned a lot about Jonathan Thomas both in training and against Australia. I thought he played very well in his Test debut."

Jenkins may have represented Wales at every level since schoolboy as a loose-head prop, including his full Test debut against Romania last year, but Hansen now believes his future lies in the No 3 jersey.

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