ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Monday Dec 13, 2021

Semi-pro groundsman playing against European champions reminds us why we love sport

Aberavon groundsman and semi-pro prop Rowan Jenkins got the opportunity of a lifetime when he got a call up to face the reigning European champions and the newly-crowned World Rugby player of the year. It’s a truly unique story that should appeal to all fans.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cardiff were without numerous players because of quarantine and various other issues, meaning the club had to make some emergency calls for their match against Toulouse at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.

COVID travel Tweet lands Cardiff full back in hot water

One of those emergency calls went out to semi-pro prop Rowan Jenkins, who normally plies his trade for Aberavon RFC in the Welsh Premier Division. When he’s not playing rugby for them, he is working on the grounds.

He opened up on what the amazing opportunity meant for him.

“One week I was down at the Drovers in the wind and rain playing Llandovery, the next I was at Cardiff Arms Park in front of a big crowd facing Toulouse, the European champions,” he said.

“I consider myself fortunate that Cardiff asked me to play. I had a spell there last Christmas and I guess it put me on their contact list… I’m just grateful to the likes of Gruff Rhys and his fellow coach TRT for calling me in.

“I can’t thank the senior Cardiff players enough as well… The message was to go out there and enjoy ourselves and take each moment as it comes.

“As a semi-professional player, you don’t expect to find yourself on the same stage as the world player of the year. Dupont was amazing…”

ADVERTISEMENT

Aberavon coach Jason Hyatt was quick to praise Jenkins as well.

“Rowan won a penalty or two himself. Cardiff also had a scrum on the opposition line which was rock solid before Josh Adams went over under the posts.

“I’m proud of him and Geraint James, another boy who plays for Aberavon, he featured off the bench on Saturday. Everyone at the club feels the same way.”

It’s a moment Jenkins will cherish for the rest of his life. Here’s hoping it’s just the first of many more opportunities to come.

ADVERTISEMENT

As for the match, the day belonged to Antoine Dupont. He left no doubt as to his newly-cemented player of the year status. His hands – and feet – were on almost every score in the 39-7 win.

Highlights:

Related Articles

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Players left in shock after cheeky try in...

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Stunning compilation shows just how important...

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Fans praise Luke Pearce for punishing Vuinpola...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Ulster score counter attack try of the season contender in Champions Cup

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Smith provides the goods once again with late Quins comeback in Europe

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    McKenzie impresses for Suntory on league debut in Japan

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Ridiculous dummy-offload sets up last gasp bonus point for Bears

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Length-of-field chase for charge down results in great try

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Fijian powerhouse runs straight over Murray and Conway

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: The harsh Umaga red card which has divided the rugby world

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Opening minute red card leaves coach questioning current laws

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Chiefs prop sent off for dangerous challenge on England's Joe Marler

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    The naughty language of Dane Coles which most fans missed during last year's Ireland defeat

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Embarrassing blunder in Japanese Top League is nothing but hilarious

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Smith provides the goods once again with late Quins comeback in Europe

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    McKenzie impresses for Suntory on league debut in Japan

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Folau scores twice on return to rugby union in Japan

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Fractured skull during Saracens’ victory puts Jackson Wray out of action for a while

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Embarrassing blunder in Japanese Top League is nothing but hilarious

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    The naughty language of Dane Coles which most fans missed during last year's Ireland defeat

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: 15 moments of 'sh*thousery' which probably shouldn't be tolerated in the modern game

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    O'Mahony tells Rory Kockott to 'pi$s off' in hilarious interaction in front of referee

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Bizarre scenes as Harry Potter performs disappearing act against Bordeaux

View All

Amateur

  • 63 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 100 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 100 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 101 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 101 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: American cross-over athletes get recruited off the street to try rugby

  • 13 WEEKS AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 26 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 47 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 53 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

View All