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Management Profiles: Wales Senior Team
Neil Jenkins observes Leigh Halfpenny take a place kick during an international match
Neil Jenkins

Neil Jenkins

Skills Coach

Neil Jenkins won eighty-seven caps for Wales and sat out a further three matches on the bench for his country. Jenkins also pulled on the British & Irish Lions jersey a total of four times across the course of two tours to South Africa and Australia.
Jenkins played in a total of nine Five Nations Championships, two Six Nations Championships and two Rugby World Cups, famously breaking the world record for points in rugby union during the Western Samoa match at the Millennium Stadium in the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

Jenkins made his debut against England in 1991 in the Wales starting line-up, from there on in, he was a mainstay in the No.10 jersey for his country providing thrills, spills, eleven tries, ten drop goals, two hundred and thirty-five penalties and one hundred and thirty conversions along the way, not to mention the forty-one points gained as a British & Irish Lion. His grand total tally for Wales; 1049. Upon his retirement, he was rugby union's leading points scorer on 1090 in total (which included 41 for the British & Irish Lions) and he held that record until the England v Scotland RBS Six Nations clash in 2008 where Jonny Wilkinson's first half penalty saw him move into the lead with 1093.

It was the ice cool nature of Jenkins's kicking ability that became a hallmark of his play, holding his composure in the tightest of moments. It may have been Scott Gibbs that everyone remembers drawing Wales to within one point against England and putting a serious dent on their designs for the last ever Five Nations Championship, but Jenkins was the one that stepped up under a weight of tension and anticipation to slot over the conversion that put Wales into the lead and ultimately won the game; a kick he would cite as his best ever when announcing his retirement in 2004.

Jenkins played for Pontypridd, Cardiff and had one season as a regional player with the Celtic Warriors in 2003-2004 where the region famously did the double over London Wasps in the Heineken Cup. Jenkins's last rugby action was an 80-80 testimonial draw against Jason Leonard in June 2004's 'Battle of the Centurions' at the Millennium Stadium pitching England's man with most caps against Wales's man with most points.

In the autumn of 2004 Jenkins returned to the Welsh Rugby Union in the capacity of Kicking Skills Coach, working with the then newly formed WRU Academies to improve the future generations of outside halves. In the summer of 2006 he returned to the National Squad set up as Skills Coach, where he first worked for Gareth Jenkins during the 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign and subsequently Warren Gatland's management team.

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