John Mulvihill is determined to give Gethin Jenkins the send-off he deserves, as Wales' most capped international prepares for his final Cardiff Blues appearance against Zebre on Sunday.
The Guinness PRO14 encounter will see the loosehead prop make his 195th, and final, appearance for his home region, where he won two European Challenge Cup trophies and the EDF Trophy.
Head coach, Muvlihill, says the 129-times capped prop will be a welcome addition to the backroom staff at the Arms Park, but also emphasised the importance of the clash for Cardiff Blues' season.
“It should be a great day and a great occasion and hopefully we can pack CAP and get a big crowd, because he certainly deserves it,” said Mulvihill.
“He’s played 195 times for this club, and a 129 Test matches for Wales, and has won everything in the game, bar a World Cup.
“He’s been there and done that and it’s really fitting that he plays in front of a home crowd on Sunday.
“I spoke to Gethin about six months ago, when I was first starting at the club, about his tenure, how long he was going to hang around and his ambitions for life after rugby.
“He was very keen to play for another season, and he took that opportunity. But he’s realised after some of the ‘A’ games and training that the body is probably just can’t go around again.
“Gethin is going to be involved in our academy training programme and he’s got a bit of a liking for the defensive side of the game. He’s certainly been a great defender himself, and he’ll show that again on Sunday.
“He’ll be in-and-around our group going forward from next week, after our break, and he’ll be with the academy, and with the first team.
“It’s a massive game for us. If we beat Zebre this Sunday, we would’ve won five out of the last seven, and you’d probably take that. If it were to be four out of seven, that wouldn’t be acceptable for us.
“We need to make sure that we win this weekend. We want to make sure we send Gethin out as a winner.
“We want the crowds to come back because they enjoy the style of rugby we’re playing. If we win again this weekend, we’re setting ourselves up nicely for the rest of the season.”
Following defeats to Glasgow Warriors and Toyota Cheetahs, Mulvihill admits his side have identified their errors and are determined to respond against the Italian outfit.
The Australian added: “Our start needs to improve. During the last two games, after 10 minutes we’ve found ourselves considerably behind on the scoreboard.
“That’s something we can fix up. We’ve shown that once we’re in the game, we’ve ended up quite strongly in both games. It’s a focus for us to start well this week.
“We’ve had some harsh conversations about our selfishness around our breakdown and around our passing options.
“We’ve worked on that this week, and if one of us scores, the team scores, so our focus this week is to get that ball over the line.”
Head to Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday to see Cardiff Blues legend, Gethin Jenkins, play the final game of his unforgettable career! Tickets still available! Click HERE