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
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.