Jenkins to replace Warburton as Wales defence coach

FILE PHOTO: Britain Rugby Union - Wales v Argentina - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 12/11/16 Wales’ Gethin Jenkins in action Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic

CARDIFF (Reuters) - Former prop Gethin Jenkins has been drafted into the Wales coaching team as a breakdown and defence specialist, replacing ex-team mate Sam Warburton, who has left after less than a year in the role.

Jenkins, who had three tours with the British & Irish Lions as a player, will assist head coach Wayne Pivac and brings a wealth of experience after 129 test caps before his retirement in 2018.

He most recently worked as defence coach for the Wales Under-20 side.

“He has vast experience of the international game and is hugely respected. Since retiring he has built a great reputation as a coach,” Pivac said in a media release from the Welsh Rugby Union on Thursday.

“I’d like to thank Sam for his hard work over the last year, and what he has given to the team and to Wales.”

Warburton will work alongside Jenkins for a brief handover period at the start of the Autumn series of internationals, which includes a friendly fixture away against France on Oct. 24.

“I have had time to reflect and plan during the lockdown and I feel with a new addition to my family and business interests away from coaching, I can’t devote the time needed in the role and so have decided to step away from coaching,” Warburton said.

Wales will also complete their 2020 Six Nations campaign at home to Scotland on Oct. 31, before the Autumn Nations Cup fixtures that include a trip to Dublin to face Ireland (Nov. 13), followed by home games against Georgia (Nov. 21) and England (Nov. 28).

Reporting by Nick , editing by Pritha Sarkar