Kicking sensation Neil Jenkins has regained his place in the Welsh squad
after suffering an eight-month injury lay off.
The record-breaking Wales fly-half makes his first return to the
international fold since being stuck down with a knee injury on the British
Lions tour to Australia.
But having undergone surgery and a spell of intensive rehabilitation,
Jenkins is named in the 27-man squad set to tour South Africa next month.
Wales travel south to face the Springboks in a two-test series.
There was widespread speculation that the Ginger Monster would follow Scott
Gibbs, David Young and Rob Howley into international retirement following
his injury nightmare.
His troublesome knee triggered rumours that he would have to hang up his
boots once and for all.
Now having been thrust back into the fold, he once again has his sights set
on pulling on the Welsh jersey.
"I have always wanted to play for Wales again and I am delighted at being
included," he beamed.
"I have never had any plans to pack it in and I have always dreamt of a
"Obviously, I am not getting any younger, but the body has had a good rest this season and I have spent the last eight months getting myself as fit as I possibly can.
"Now it is a case of taking one step at a time and proving my worth to the
Having played barely an hour's rugby all season, coach Steve Hansen
confirmed Jenkins will not start either test.
But the Kiwi did insist that his experience would be invaluable to the team.
"You couldn't ask him to go out and start a test match in view of how much
football he has played this year.
"But it would be stupid not to grasp this opportunity. He will be great value to the squad.
"It gives us a great opportunity to see what position he is in at the moment.
"And if there are any injuries in the squad he is right on hand to step into
Hansen has rung the changes for the summer trip with Pontypridd's cup heroics earning Richard Parks, Michael Owen, Robert Sidoli, Mefin Davies and Gethin Jenkins an international call up.
And he is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing Wales when
they meet the South Africans.
"It is going to be extremely tough, there is no doubt about that. But this
is a chance to develop some of the younger players in time for the World
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.