He's beaten the All Blacks as a Llanelli player, he's won four league titles and seven domestic Cups as coach, but reaching the Heineken Cup semi-finals for the second time last year was the best moment of Gareth Jenkins' career.
Llanelli will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the day they beat the touring New Zealanders at Stradey Park this month, but Heineken Cup rugby is more important to Wales' most successful coach.
That's the emphasis Jenkins has put on his players reaching the heights in Europe again this season as they prepare to face Glasgow at Stradey Park in the first round this Saturday
"Our season last year was the best I've ever been involved in," said Gareth Jenkins.
"And that's as a direct result of the momentum and performances created by the Heineken Cup.
Llanelli have been Wales' leading light in Europe for a number of seasons and Jenkins hopes this could finally be their year.
"We have home advantage and the perfect opportunity to kick-start our campaign this year against Glasgow. But we have powerful memories of a great game against Gloucester which we lost two seasons ago in the first round.
"That day we paid the price for a lack of research, but we have not made the same mistake in our preparation this week.
"Both sides are capable of reaching the quarter-finals of this tournament and we don't expect it to be anything but difficult out there on Saturday.
"We have been able to name a full strength side for this match although, that said, we do have a different selection in mind for our trip to Bourgoin next week."
Scott Quinnell returns for the Scarlets after three weeks out for an operation on his nose, but Jenkins has played down his return to action concentrating instead on the full squad he has at his disposable
"Scott is an important player for us, but he is competing for his place in the side just like everyone else. It's good to see him back and playing, but it's good to see everybody back," added Jenkins.
Llanelli: Garan Evans; Mark Jones, Matthew Watkins, Leigh Davies (Captain),Salesi Finau; Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel; Iestyn Thomas, Robin McBryde, Martyn Madden, Vernon Cooper, Chris Wyatt, Simon Easterby, Ian Boobyer, Scott Quinnell
Replacements: John Davies, Marcus Thomas, Luke Gross, David Hodges, Guy Easterby, Mike Phillips, Gareth Bowen
Referee: Giulio de Santis (Italy) |
Previous meetings; Welsh/Scottish League - Glasgow lead 4-2 on wins, but only won at Stradey two seasons ago by 16-10. Llanelli's home wins were by 57-21 and 40-14.
Tommy Hayes has scored 272 points in 24 appearances for Glasgow, but they have lost in all three Cup appearances in Wales. Llanelli have 24 wins and 17 losses in the Cup with Stephen Jones scoring 371 points from 35 appearances. Chris Wyatt makes his 41st Heineken Cup appearance - more than any other Scarlet.
LLANELLI AT STRADEY: WON 16 LOST 2 IN HEINEKEN CUP
Ahead of their SSE SWALEC Bowl Final clash with Taffs Well at Principality Stadium on Sunday, Burry Port share their #FABXV nomination with WRUTV in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers. Everyone can get involved by sending nominations via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins and Ospreys centre Ben John look ahead to the first game at Principality Stadium in Saturday's double header which is promising to be a special occasion for all Welsh fans.
Carmarthen Quins Director of Rugby Ian Jones and committee member Jeff Thomas along with Llandovery chairman Handel Davies look ahead to Sunday's SSE SWALEC Cup showdown where both teams are out to prove 'West is best'
SWALEC ambassador Shane WIlliams is looking forward to Sunday's Finals Day where the Cup, Bowl and Plate offers a great opportunity for players and teams to experience the magic of playing at Principality Stadium
Carmarthen Quins coach Richard Kelly believes it is an exciting time to be part of the Scarlets region as his side take on local rivals Llandovery in the SSE Swalec Cup final on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
Scarlets long serving prop Phil John talks to WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie about Judgement Day IV and SSE Swalec Cup finals day. The last time Llandovery were in the cup final in 2007, the Drovers claimed the spoils with Phil playing a major role in the engine room.
Meet Aberdare coach Luke Thomas whose #FABXV nomination goes to super volunteer Daz with a whopping 10 things he does for the club each week, all except the ironing! You can also join in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers, by sending your nomination via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
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