Waren Gatland has praised Gethin Jenkins as the prop prepares to win his 100th Welsh cap
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has hailed Gethin Jenkins as the Wales prop prepares for his 100th international appearance on Saturday.
Gethin's a sensational player in terms of the way he works. He chases everything and in his own way, he's a leader on the park
The Cardiff Blues man was today named in the Wales side for this weekend's clash with Argentina and will become the only the fourth Welsh player to reach a century of caps.
The triple Grand Slam winner, who made his debut against Romania back in 2002, packs down alongside Richard Hibbard and Rhodri Jones at the Millennium Stadium with Jones and the uncapped Cory Allen providing a youthful vibrancy to the Wales XV.
"Gethin had a phenomenal game last week in terms of work rate," said Gatland.
"He's a sensational player in terms of the way he works. He chases everything and in his own way, he's a leader on the park. His body seems to be holding together OK, he's dropped four or five kilograms and he's looking really fit at the moment.
"It's a fantastic milestone for someone who has been a great servant to Welsh rugby. I just hope we can give a performance which reflects that contribution."
Gatland was speaking after naming his side to face Argentina, a team which features four changes to the one which took on South Africa last week. Allen makes his Welsh bow in place of the injured Jonathan Davies while Jones comes in for his namesake Adam at tighthead.
With Dan Lydiate injured, captain Sam Warburton moves to six with Justin Tipuric on the openside. Dan Biggar comes in for Rhys Priestland at fly half.
"With Jonathan (Davies) being injured, we are looking at some cover in the centre," Gatland added.
"We've had Owen Williams with us in the last few weeks, he hasn't trained yet so we feel it's a chance for a young guy to develop and to get some strength in depth.
"With regards to the selection at 10, it was a tough call last week. The plan was to play one in the first game and one in the second game and then make a decision for the Australia game.
"At tighthead, with Adam Jones injured, we've had Rhodri in with us. Rhodri has been going well, we've been impressed with him.
"Dan (Lydiate) has an injury and we've spoken to Sam about playing six, the same back row which played against England in the last game of the Six Nations. Dan will hopefully be fit and available for selection next weekend."
Wales' preparations for the meeting with Argentina have focused on maximising the chances they create. Jonathan Davies made two clean line breaks during his time on the pitch against the Springboks though the men in red were unable to cross the whitewash.
"We created a few opportunities which we didn't finish off and we've been working with the players to make sure when we make a break, our support lines are better than what they were against South Africa," said Gatland.
"We're encouraging the players to play what's in front of them. We give them the structure but that doesn't mean we're inhibiting them in any way. We want the players to express themselves and the hit out last week will do us good.
"We expect Argentina will put us under pressure with a lot of driven line outs and put a reasonable amount of ball in the air.
"We've got to cope with that and try to negate their line out threat."
On the selection of his regional teammate Allen, captain Warburton added: "I was delighted to see Cory come in. He's a big boy, still got a lot of growing to do but he's very silky and has got great hands.
"He's the type of guy you can chuck in the deep end and I think he'll enjoy the stage on Saturday. I expect him to do some really good things, he's been playing well for the Blues and I think he'll have a good game."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.