Ellis Jenkins will not be fazed by leading Wales

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Ellis Jenkins has pledged to take captaining Wales in his stride as his big Test rugby comeback gathers pace.

Cardiff flanker Jenkins won his first Wales cap for three years last weekend, impressing in the 23-18 loss to world champions South Africa.

The 28-year-old will now skipper Wales in Sunday’s Cardiff clash with Fiji, in another sizeable sign of trust from coach Wayne Pivac.

Wales v South Africa – Autumn Internationals – Principality Stadium
Wayne Pivac, pictured, has handed Ellis Jenkins the Wales captaincy (David Davies/PA)

Jenkins conceded his three years out of action with serious knee injuries leave him with the odd natural doubt amid his long-awaited return.

But the 12-cap back-rower insisted nothing will affect either his game or his captaincy style this weekend.

“I’m obviously excited, but for me it’s just about trying to back up last week’s performance really,” said Jenkins.

“The captaincy doesn’t change too much for me.

“Obviously there’s a bit of decision-making and speaking to the ref, but other than that I’ll be trying to play my game in the same way as usual really.

“There’s been days where I feel really good and I think it’s going well and I’m confident.

“When my body’s feeling good and I’m able to train fully, then I’m confident I can play at this level and back it up.

“There’s obviously days when you don’t feel so good, when the doubts set in.

“But it’s just trying to remember where you’ve come from really, and not get too carried away with the highs or the lows.

“But it’s something I’ve wanted to do, to get back playing for Wales, and I’ve worked really hard to do that.

“So I’m just fortunate that it’s come around really.”

Wales have opted to mix up selection to host Fiji, off the back of losses to New Zealand and the Springboks.

In long-term skipper Alun Wyn Jones’ injury-enforced absence, Jenkins now has the chance to show in the Test arena exactly why he has long been earmarked for the Wales captaincy.

“Wayne said to me on Tuesday that there would be a couple of changes this week and that my name would be in the mix to be captain,” said Jenkins.

“He asked ‘is that going to affect you?’ and I said ‘no, happy days’.

“So when the team was named it was nice to see my name up there. But as long as I’m playing I’m happy.

“It’s not something that massively fazes me, I tend to be quite vocal on the pitch in terms of organising and problem solving.

“So maybe it’s a little bit more responsibility but not something that changes my game, or the way I approach things.

“So even when I’m not captain I’ll have a lot of input with whoever is captain.

“And I’ve got a lot of boys out there tomorrow who will do the same for me.

“It’s not one man who’s making all the decisions and trying to gee everyone up, it’s a group of the senior players that do that, and there’s plenty of them in the team tomorrow.”

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