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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Jenkins hints at World Cup places
Wales coach Gareth Jenkins says he has a nice selection headache
Wales coach Gareth Jenkins says he has a nice selection headache
Wales leave Australia winless after their two-Test tour which culminated in Saturday's 31-0 drubbing in Brisbane.

But Wales coach Gareth Jenkins has seen enough on the trip to convince him who are the winners in his squad.

Twenty senior players were left behind for rest or rehabilitation, suggesting just 10 World Cup squad spots remained.

Dragons pair Colin Charvis and Michael Owen did their claims a power of good, while Jenkins also hinted that Gavin Henson has probably done enough.

"This tour has allowed players like Colin and Michael, who didn't have the opportunity in the Six Nations, to make a statement and they did it in great style and fashion," Jenkins said.

"Charvis has proven to everybody here at 34 that he still has world class in him and he was great and Michael Owen brought a lot of continuity as a ball-carrier.

This tour has given me a headache I'm grateful for - strength in depth with competitive players who all have ambition

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins

"They both have an appetite to wear the jersey and want to be part of the World Cup squad and they played like that.

"It was a big plus for us to get Gavin on the field and getting him into the rugby and I felt he needed that.

"That's a plus, and James Hook has played one and a half games at 10 which is good for his development as well."

Hook was unable to reproduce his sparkling form of the Six Nations, struggling uncharacteristically with his place-kicking, but it is unthinkable that the Osprey will not play in the World Cup.

Likewise Gareth Thomas, who retook the captain's armband for this tour from the rested Stephen Jones and again led from the front.

"This tour has given me the type of problems any coach wants - strength in depth with competitive players who all have ambition - and players with quality too," Jenkins added.

"It's given me a headache I'm grateful for."

Centre Jamie Robinson, scrum-half Mike Phillips and prop Adam Jones all went as probables and did nothing to harm their chances.

Adaptable back-row Jon Thomas is also a probable but the resurgence of Owen, a natural number eight who impressed as a stand-in lock, could put selection pressure on the Osprey.

Harlequins prop Ceri Jones also boosted his chances by showing he can acquit himself at tight-head prop as well as loose-head at Test level.

Hooker remains a problem for Wales, with the line-out misfring badly, and no candidate has made an overwhelming case for a starting spot.

Wales lost the first Test in Sydney to a last-gasp try, before being overrun in Brisbane in the second Test following the half-time break.

Four warm-up games in August - against England, Argentina and France - lead Wales into September's World Cup.

Canada, another clash with Australia, Japan and Fiji await Wales in their pool.



SEE ALSO
Australia 31-0 Wales
02 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Mortlock hails Gregan influence
02 Jun 07 |  Rugby Union
Australia 29-23 Wales
26 May 07 |  Welsh


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