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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK
Bennett delight at Jenkins rule
WRU chief executive Steve Lewis and chairman David Pickering overlook Gareth Jenkins
Gareth Jenkins has a fraught history with some WRU members
Wales and Lions legend Phil Bennett has given his full backing to new Wales coach Gareth Jenkins.

Scarlets director of rugby Jenkins got the job on Thursday, getting the vote over Leeds counterpart Phil Davies.

"The two right men were there and I think the right choice was made in Gareth Jenkins," Bennett said.

"We need a strong man, we need stability at the helm of Welsh rugby at the moment and I think that Gareth fits both those bills."

Jenkins was overlooked for the Wales job in 2004, when Mike Ruddock was parachuted in over his head at the 11th hour by the Welsh Rugby Union.

WRU chief executive Steve Lewis and chairman David Pickering were singled out for blame at the way the process had been conducted.

"Gareth was totally devastated, he felt he'd been let down by the Union," Bennett added.

I honestly never believed that Gareth would go for the job again
Phil Bennett

"I honestly never believed that Gareth would go for the job again because he's a very proud man and he felt bitterly hurt.

"So it's going to be very interesting that he's willing to work with these kinds of people."

Jenkins has a fine record with first Llanelli and then with the Llanelli Scarlets regional side, although they have fallen short on big Heineken Cup occasions.

His coaching credentials were endorsed after being asked to join the backroom staff on last year's Lions tour to New Zealand.

Although the Test side slumped to a 3-0 series defeat against the All Blacks, Jenkins' mid-week side garnered praise both from within and outside the camp.

"I played with Gareth and he didn't take a step backwards in his playing career, and when he has coached and managed Llanelli and Llanelli Scarlets he doesn't suffer fools gladly," Bennett said.

Thomas admits to Ruddock concerns
19 Feb 06 |  Internationals
Ruddock's legacy
15 Feb 06 |  Internationals
Ruddock steps down as Wales coach
14 Feb 06 |  Internationals


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Heineken Cup

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