Neil Jenkins is the most prolific goal-kicker in the history of British international rugby. A match-winner with Pontypridd and Wales, a veteran of the Lions Tours – including the 2001 Tour of Australia – his crowning moment came with the Lions in South Africa in 1997 when his unerring accuracy with the boot earned the tourists only their second series victory against the Springboks.
Capped by Wales when he was just 19, Jenkins helped to turn Pontypridd from the Cinderellas of Welsh rugby into the league champions and one of the most feared teams in the country. After just 28 internationals he broke the Welsh points-scoring record.
First published in 1998, Life at Numer 10 is a fascinating account of how Jenkins, a boy from the tip of the Rhondda Valley, started his working life as a scrap merchant – only to become one of the most sought-after players in Britain and the most-capped player for Wales. He tells how the pressure of being the Wales outside-half, following in the footsteps of legends such as Cliff Morgan, David Watkins, Barry John, Phil Bennett and Jonathon Davies, took its toll; and his frustration at being moved by Wales to centre full-back. He reveals the secrets behind Pontypridd's rise to prominence, the reasons why he left them in 1999 to join Cardiff, and his fears for the future of the Welsh game.
Paul Rees is a freelance journalist who contributes to Wales on Sunday and The Guardian. Educated at Llandovery College and Queen Mary College, London, in 1994 he was voted Welsh Sports Journalist of the Year.
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