Australian-born Scott Johnson took over for the final three matches of the 2006 RBS 6 Nations Championship following the resignation of Mike Ruddock with Jenkins - who was Wales assistant coach when Wales won the 1994 Five Nations title - now in charge through to 2008.
The five-man selection panel of WRU Chairman David Pickering, WRU Chief Executive Steve Lewis, WRU High Performance Manager Mostyn Richards, National Representative Gerald Davies and Alan Jones, Chairman of the WRU Game Policy Committee, had their recommendation of Jenkins accepted by the Board earlier today.
"This is something to which I have aspired for a long, long time. It is a job I would have been disappointed at not filling at some stage of my career," said Jenkins. "I'm very excited at the prospect of working with the Welsh players and I know there are huge challenges that lie ahead of us all as we build towards the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.
"I can't wait to get started and I know that the clock is ticking towards my first international in Argentina in 45 days time. It is a new and exciting challenge for me and I am greatly looking forward to it."
Former Wales Captain Pickering said: "When I was playing for Llanelli in the 1980s I came under Gareth's coaching influence so I have first hand experience of his coaching calibre and it is less than 12 months ago that Gareth was part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team in New Zealand whose prime job was preparing the mid-week team who ended the tour undefeated.
"He is an innovative performance coach with 24 years experience as a top level manager whose career has incorporated the transition to a professional rugby environment."
Steve Lewis added: "Gareth is a strong strategic thinker and team builder whose achievements have included the development of many elite players.
"He has also filled the role of Scarlets Regional Director for the past three years and this position has allowed him to work closely with WRU development staff and other key personnel and organisations within the region.
"He is a strong character who is not afraid to air his views and has vast experience of management in a high performance environment. The panel believe that the time is right for Gareth to assume this major responsibility. He has exhibited a real desire to do the job and would be a fine ambassador for the Welsh Rugby Union."
GARETH JENKINS FACTFILE
Born on 11 September, 1951, Gareth Jenkins was a flanker who made his debut for Llanelli as a 17-year-old and went on to make over 250 appearances for the Stradey Park club. He also played for Wales B and Barbarians and toured Japan with Wales in 1975, but was not capped. He played in the Llanelli team who beat the 1972 New Zealand tourists. He has coached the Stradey Park club to four Welsh Cup victories, 1992-93 League and cup double (only club to have done this), 1998-99 & 2001-02 league titles and the 2003 Celtic League Championship. He was assistant national coach when Wales won the 1993 / 1994 Five Nations Championship title and was part of the Lions coaching team in New Zealand last year, primarily involved with the unbeaten mid-week team.
WALES COACHES - 1967 / 2006
(01) David Nash (1967-68) Played 5, Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 3.
(02) Clive Rowlands (1968-74) Played 29, Won 18, Drew 4, Lost 7.
(03) John Dawes (1974-79) Played 24, Won 18, Drew 0, Lost 6.
(04) John Lloyd (1980-82) Played 14, Won 6, Drew 0, Lost 8.
(05) John Bevan (1982-85) Played 15, Won 7, Drew 1, Lost 7.
(06) Tony Gray (1985-88) Played 18, Won 9, Drew 0, Lost 9.
(07) John Ryan (1988-90) Played 9, Won 2, Drew 0, Lost 7.
(08) Ron Waldron (1990-91) Played 10, Won 2, Drew 1, Lost 7.
(09) Alan Davies (1991-95) Played 35, Won 18, Drew 0, Lost 17.
(10) Alex Evans (1995) Played 4, Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 3.
(11) Kevin Bowring (1995-98) Played 29, Won 15, Drew 0, Lost 14.
(12) Dennis John (1998) Played 2, Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 1.
(13) Graham Henry (1998-2002) Played 34, Won 20, Drew 1, Lost 13.
(14) Lynn Howells (2001) Played 2, Won 2, Drew 0, Lost 0.
(15) Steve Hansen (2002-2004) Played 29, Won 10, Drew 0, Lost 19.
(16) Mike Ruddock (2004-2006) Played 20, Won 13, Lost 7.
(17) Scott Johnson (2006) Played 3, Won 0, Lost 2, Drawn 1.
(18) Gareth Jenkins (2006 -)