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Jenkins gives his verdict on Wales’ Autumn Nations Series campaign

Jenkins gives his verdict on Wales’ Autumn Nations Series campaign

Ellis Jenkins is happy with the progress Wales have made over the Autumn Nations Series and believes the experience will only benefit them in the long term.

Wales concluded their Autumn campaign with a thrilling 29-28 victory over Australia in Cardiff, Rhys Priestland kicking the winning points with the clock in the red.

That last-gasp triumph followed a high-scoring victory over Fiji a week earlier and back-to-back defeats against New Zealand and reigning world champions South Africa.

And having bounced back from those opening two results, captain Jenkins was encouraged by the new players Wales have been able to blood on the international stage.

“We’re happy. Obviously the first two games got away from us, I think it was a big performance against South Africa and New Zealand – up until 60 minutes, it was a good performance,” he said.

Wales celebrate after Rhys Priestland converts the match winning penalty kick

“You’ve got Ben Carter coming on for 60 minutes [against Australia] and calling lineouts in front of 70,000 people. You can’t get that sort of experience from training.

“It’s invaluable for him and for people like Taine [Basham] and Christ [Tshiunza], coming on the last two weeks, it’s invaluable going forward as we’ve seen what’s happened in the past.

“We always talk about gearing up for the World Cup and we’ve seen what’s happened in the past with injuries going into it so the more experience we can have underneath the better.”

The Autumn Nations Series also saw Jenkins make his return to international rugby after a three-year absence, having suffered a serious knee injury against South Africa in 2018.

Jenkins delivered a superb performance in his comeback display against the Springboks despite the defeat before captaining his country against Fiji and Australia.

Wales celebrate after Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty to win the game

But while it has personally been a month to remember for the 28-year-old, Jenkins insists he has already set himself new goals as he looks to kick on from the Autumn Nations Series.

“I’m over the moon to be back playing for Wales. It’s typical really, you eye that as a goal and then as soon as you get there your goals change and you want to be striving for better things,” he said.

“Now I’m nit-picking with performances but I’m more aware than anyone that I’ve still got stuff to work on, particularly physically. Coming back from an injury like that, it was my sole focus for so long just to get back on the pitch.

“Now my focus is staying on the pitch and improving myself so that I can do what I believe is justice for myself but it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s a work in progress.”

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