Wales’ most-capped player Gethin Jenkins is desperate to win more Wales caps after missing the entire 2017 RBS 6 Nations.

The 36-year-old Cardiff Blues loose-head prop missed the 2017 Six Nations campaign after having surgery on a ruptured bicep.

Jenkins captained Wales in three of their four autumn international matches last year but in his absence Rob Howley’s men finished fifth in this year’s tournament.

The highly-rated Rob Evans filled the Jenkins void admirably, while Ospreys’ loose-head Nicky Smith is also bursting through.

But Jenkins, a veteran of 129 caps, is fit and firing once more ahead of the final few weeks of the season and he has made no secret of his desire to secure the No.1 shirt back for club and country.

“It was bad timing,” he said. “I’ve definitely got the hunger to get back that starting spot.

“I was happy with how I performed and the honour of being captain.

“To come from being captain to being injured for three months makes you experience the highs and lows.

“There’s obviously a progression plan with the boys coming through, but I’ll always have the drive to win back that No.1 jersey.”

Now, with the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand and Wales facing Tests against Samoa and Tonga on their summer tour, it may be a busy summer for Jenkins.

He toured New Zealand with the 2005 Lions and went again in South Africa in 2009, making five Test appearances, but injury meant Jenkins was forced off the 2013 trip to Australia.

Jenkins is up for the challenge posed by Evans and Ospreys’ loose-head Nicky Smith.

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