Sam Warburton believes Ellis Jenkins will put himself in the driving seat to succeed Alun Wyn Jones as Wales captain if he maintains his current form.
Jenkins played his first game in three years for Wales, having been sidelined by a knee injury for over two years, and made a massive impact on his return to international rugby.
The 28-year-old was arguably Wales’ best player in their ultimately unsuccessful bid to beat reigning world champions, South Africa, having made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown.
Warburton was speaking on Amazon Prime after the game and argued that Jenkins could soon be captaining Wales if he continues to play like he did against the Springboks on a regular basis.
Sam Warburton on who should be Wales’ next captain.
“When Wales beat South Africa out in Washington in the summer of 2018, Ellis was captain for that game,” Warburton said, via WalesOnline.
“It was a really good experience for him to captain the side then and he probably would have captained Wales more often [had it not been for his injury], but they have just had an abundance of riches at number seven.
“But that performance today, if he can back that up again, then it’s certainly going to put him in the driving seat potentially amid two or three guys who could take over that captaincy once Alun Wyn Jones goes.”
FULL TIME | It’s a stoic effort from Wales today, but the World Champions take the honours after a series of late points. pic.twitter.com/Qcs4JPp68T
— Welsh Rugby Union ? (@WelshRugbyUnion) November 6, 2021
Alun Wyn Jones’ successor.
Jonathan Davies captained Wales against South Africa in Jones’ absence and could lead his country for the foreseeable future, as the veteran lock has been ruled out of next year’s Six Nations.
Davies is unlikely to be a long-term successor to Jones, however, as he is currently 33 years old and hasn’t been in the best of form in recent times.
Jenkins has just 12 caps for Wales but he has shown that he has plenty of leadership qualities and looked to be back to his best against the Springboks on Saturday.
Jones is still aiming to play for Wales at the next Rugby World Cup, but his recent shoulder injury and advancing years could prevent him from winning many more caps for his country.