In an exclusive for the Western Mail, Cardiff Blues, Wales and Lions prop Gethin Jenkins confirmed that he will leave the club after eight years to move to France, linking up with Toulon on a two-year deal.
Jenkins revealed that his departure was based on the fact that Cardiff would not pay his wages when he was away on international duty with Wales. “I definitely will not be with the Blues next season, and yes, I am going to France. I was offered a deal by the Blues but that was after talks were put off about an extension on several occasions.
“In the end they said they couldn’t pay me while I was fulfilling international commitments and so I felt I had no choice. I had to think about my future, just like any player or anyone in any walk of life would do. I won’t leave with any bitterness and will give the Blues everything between now and the end of this season, just the same as I have always done. But after that, it will be time for me to have a fresh start and a new challenge.”
Jenkins will compete with Andrew Sheridan for the loosehead spot at Toulon next season, and joins many Welsh internationals in France including James Hook, Lee Byrne and Mike Phillips, as the exodus continues to grow, depriving Welsh regional rugby of some of its brightest talents. The newspaper had reported only 24 hours earlier than Jenkins had been offered a one-year extension on his contract by Cardiff.