Gethin Jenkins admits a growing part of his role at Cardiff Blues has been imparting his vast knowledge on the next generation.
The loose-head prop is making his way back to form following a succession of frustrating injuries during the last year.
He has featured in seven games this season, four of which have come since the New Year, and while he is resolutely focused on firing on all cylinders individually, he also knows it would be “selfish” not to pass on his experience.
Cardiff Blues currently boast a wealth of exciting young talent in the front-row with Brad Thyer, Corey Domachowski, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Keiron Assiratti and Ethan Lewis all showing plenty of promise and who better to learn from than Wales’ most-capped player.
Jenkins said: “There’s some good boys coming through, boys around the 20-21 age, who are in their first season and some of them got thrown in last season.
“There’s a lot of that (mentoring) involved, a lot of talking to them about techniques and stuff they can do around the field to improve their game.
“Brad Thyer is one who has come on leaps and bounds this year. He is not that young, probably 24-25 but he’s been around, he’s learning and keeps improving his game.
“Myself, Matthew (Rees), we have been here for a bit and do like to see ourselves as role models and mentors for those boys coming through – we’re probably old enough to be some of their dads!
“It’s part of my role as captain anyway and Matthew when he is captain as well.
“It’s a bit of a balance but you have to back your own skill and work-rate as you are passing it on. It would be selfish not to pass on your knowledge and some tips, you try to give one or two things every session because we’re the same team and are all pushing for the same goal.”
Jenkins played 58 minutes on Saturday as the Blues battled back and then hung on for a well-deserved victory over Toyota Cheetahs.
They return to Cardiff Arms Park again on Saturday (February 17, 5.30pm) as they take on Munster Rugby. Tickets are still available and can be bought by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.