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
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.