The Welsh rugby family is mourning the passing of one of its brightest young stars following the death from cancer of Gareth Jenkins.
The Ospreys and Wales Under 18 prop finally lost his battle against the disease last week. His funeral is due to take place at Christ Church, Oystermouth Road tomorrow (Tuesday, 2 December) when mourners have been asked to wear rugby jerseys to the service.
The Swansea College student had played rugby from the age of 10 and had been in representative sides throughout his career - West Wales Under 11, Swansea Schoolboys and Wales Under 18.
An only child, he lived at home in Swansea with his parents, Clyde and Carolyn. He attended Bishop Gore School before moving on to Swansea College.
He learned his rugby at school and at Bonymaen RFC before capturing the attention of the Ospreys and joining their junior set-up. He made his Wales debut against England as a replacement on 2 March and won five caps in all.
He made one start for his country, in the 43-10 victory over Italy, and played a part in four Welsh victories in five matches.
Gareth was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma in April and is likely to have played for Wales while suffering from the problem. That demonstrated his dedication to the cause and his commitment to his country.
"This is a terrible tragedy for Gareth's family and his friends and I offer the deepest sympathies of everyone connected with Welsh rugby to them," said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis.
"There is little doubt that Gareth had a big future ahead of him in the professional game and that one day he could have fulfilled his dream of representing Wales at the Millennium Stadium."
Donations can be made to children's cancer charity Clic Sargent as a mark of respect for Gareth's life.
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