Ellis Jenkins happy with Wales leadership against Springboks

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Wales v South Africa
Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington DC Date: Saturday, 2 June Kick-off: 22:00 BST
Coverage: Live scores and commentary on the BBC Sport website and app, live commentary on Radio Wales AM and Radio Cymru

Ellis Jenkins is relishing the chance to captain Wales for the first time in Saturday’s Test against South Africa.

But the former Wales Under-20 skipper says he will have plenty of leaders around him on the pitch in Washington.

“In terms of the captaincy we’ve got plenty of leaders in the squad,” said the Cardiff Blues open-side, who will win his seventh cap.

“Bradley Davies and Cory Hill will be a great help to me and as a team we just want to play as well as we can.”

Tour co-captain Hill, who starts at lock alongside Davies, is in line to captain the side against Argentina in San Juan next Saturday, as Wales head south to play the Pumas in two Tests.

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“A lot is made of the captaincy, but you only get to that position by playing well and doing your job properly and that’s what I plan to do,” said Jenkins.

“It’s a huge honour for me to captain the side. We’re really looking forward to the game.”

Wales coach Warren Gatland has left most of his first-choice stars at home for this tour and named two debutants in a youthful match-day 23 against the Springboks, with Tomos Williams starting at scrum-half and flanker Aaron Wainwright on the bench.

But George North is included and starts at outside centre, the fourth time the British and Irish Lions star has begun a Test in midfield rather than his usual wing position.

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has named an inexperienced XV of his own, with seven debutants in the starting XV and another six international rookies on the bench.

“South Africa have a couple of fresh faces, but they’re going to be dangerous,” Jenkins added.

“They might be inexperienced, but they’ve got a new coach so they’re going to be hungry to impress and the same goes for us with our young players.

“Our guys deserve to start and some of them have been around longer than me. They are quality players.”


Wales: Hallam Amos; Tom Prydie, George North, Owen Watkin, Steff Evans; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee, Dillon Lewis; Cory Hill, Bradley Davies; Seb Davies, Ellis Jenkins (capt), Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Adam Beard, Aaron Wainwright, Aled Davies, Rhys Patchell, Hadleigh Parkes.

South Africa: Curwin Bosch; Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi; Elton Jantjies, Ivan van Zyl; Ox Nche, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Wilco Louw, Jason Jenkins, Pieter-Steph du Toit (capt), Kwagga Smith, Oupa Mohoje, Dan du Preez

Replacements: Akker van der Merwe, Steven Kitshoff, Thomas du Toit, Marvin Orie, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Embrose Papier, Robert du Preez, Warrick Gelant

Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU).

Assistant referees: Alexandre Ruiz (FR) and Frank Murphy (IRE).

TMO: David Grashoff (RFU).

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