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Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Thursday, 17 February 2011

Garin Jenkins tells Wales they must use Martyn Williams

Martyn Williams
Williams is just two caps away from a century of appearances for Wales

Ex-Wales hooker Garin Jenkins has told Wales and the Blues it is premature to discard flanker Martyn Williams.

Williams, 35, was omitted from Wales' Six Nations squad and his Blues' contract expires in May.

But Jenkins insists Wales must use Williams and new Wales back-rower Sam Warburton in the forthcoming World Cup.

"There's a saying: you don't throw away the old bucket until you are sure the new one can hold water," Jenkins told BBC Sport Wales.

"I think Martyn Williams is a world-class rugby player. He has a fantastic footballer brain. He has so much knowledge, so much experience. I think he still has a future with the Blues.

"Sam Warburton was fantastic at Murrayfield [in Wales' 24-6 Six Nations win against Scotland last weekend] and I think he's the future, but there's nothing wrong with keeping a world-class player in your squad.

"Because having a world-class player of Martyn's calibre really, really rubs off on the likes of Sam Warburton.

"I have no doubt that Martyn's experience as a role model and as a player has helped Sam Warburton in his apprenticeship as a back-row forward."

Jenkins, who played alongside Williams in the Wales team on and off for six years, insists Williams would be an invaluable member of Wales' World Cup squad in New Zealand this autumn.

As long as he is kept fit and looked after Martyn is the sort of player to come on in World Cup quarter-final at any stage

Ex-Wales hooker Garin Jenkins

"I really feel that Martyn, come World Cup time, will be a valuable member of [Wales coach] Warren Gatland's squad, because when you hit 30, 32, 33 you can't play every week to a consistent level, but I think Warren Gatland will be pretty cute.

"I see Wales getting through the pool stages of the World Cup and Martyn will be a much-wanted player to be around in the situation of a quarter-final of the World Cup.

"As long as he is kept fit and looked after Martyn is the sort of player to come on in World Cup quarter-final at any stage, and his wealth of experience and his rugby pedigree prove the difference in a tight quarter-final battle.

"But it is important he is managed well and there is good people around [him].

Blues director of rugby Dai Young has already hinted Williams might have a future with the region beyond his current contract.

"Young is an intelligent rugby coach and I imagine David's statement saying that Martyn still has a future with the Blues would have been well thought out," Jenkins said.

"Next year who knows? Perhaps he will be used as a one in three game player, but he is a player you need to keep around in some capacity."

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see also
Blues urged to keep Williams on
21 Feb 11 |  Cardiff Blues
Warburton & James commit to Blues
16 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Blues 11-3 Leinster
19 Feb 11 |  Cardiff Blues
Scotland 6-24 Wales
12 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Williams 'still has Wales future'
24 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Young to start Blues 'rebuilding'
23 Jan 11 |  Cardiff Blues
Williams omitted from Wales squad
23 Jan 11 |  Welsh

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