Around the Touchline - Alex Jenkins - great asset for The Otters

Alex JenkinsWhen Alex Jenkins ran out as a second-half replacement for Narberth RFC in their recent huge win over Tata Steel there was an even bigger cheer than usual because it meant the popular second row had broken the record for the number of games played since the National Leagues were formulated in the 1990/91 season.

It was his 316th game and so beat the previous record held by the equally-popular hooker Dan Smith, who served the club so well from 2006 until the end of last season but was forced to retire on medical grounds after playing in style with a typically robust performance in the 40-26 victory at Beddau.

Alex is now 316 not out!

Alex made his debut for The Otters against Merthyr on the 8th of September 2007 when they won 29-26 and since then, through a potent mix of commitment and loyalty which has been carefully documented and verified by the club’s outstanding statistician and historian Ken Mathias, he has been a virtual ever-present!

And with his current form as good as ever it is a fair bet that, barring injuries, he could go on to increase that amazing tally to even higher levels and perhaps ensure the establishment of a record that will never be beaten!

Alex Jenkins takes lineout possession

Milestones come and go

It is good to report that Alex has been a great inspiration to other younger players at this high level, which culminated in his being chosen as club captain for three seasons for 2016/17, with great second row partners, not least with Chris ‘Cone’ James, who is still involved at the club as team manager, Dai Ebsworth, Jason Jennings and Jamie Bohata as significant milestones have come and gone.

His 100th game came in 2012-13 when The Otters lost 31-30 to Newbridge and that campaign saw Alex gain five ‘Man of the Match’ awards as proof of his growing maturity and increased recognition of his contribution in a strong squad.                                                                                                                                                                                             

Alex then played his 200th match in September 2016 as Narberth won 23-13 at Newcastle Emlyn and his 300th game arrived in April 2023, where The Otters beat Cardiff Met 31-12 at home - and he was awarded a special cap as a memento and an interesting fact of the time was that in the 325 matches involved since he joined them, he had missed only 25 of them!

Indeed, in the six seasons since he joined them at the beginning of 2010-11 Narberth played 144 league games and Alex didn’t miss a single one!

During that time, he led The Otters in eight games in 2013-14 when skipper Steve Martin was injured and the following season saw him involved in his first Pembrokeshire KO Cup Final as The Otters beat Haverfordwest 31-0 at Pembroke Dock Harlequins - and Alex was the only squad member to play in every league and cup match during the season!

Alex Jenkins on the burst


Started out as a Seasider and much later represented Wales

Alex had started his rugby career playing for Tenby United in their junior section and with Pembrokeshire Schools before playing youth (where he was captain) and one season of senior rugby with The Seasiders - and also for The Scarlets at under 18 and under 20 levels.

During the younger age group play Alex was part of The Scarlets’ team which won the regional cup final, beating The Ospreys at the Millennium Stadium, with Josh Turnbull as his second-row partner and also playing were Narberth team mates Steve Martin and Tom Slater.

He also played in the under 20 age-group final but they lost to The Ospreys - but international recognition followed in November 2008 when he represented the Welsh Amateur team to play against Germany (away) and as well as the team winning well it was Alex who was voted as their ‘Man of the Match’.

Alex Jenkins breaks over the gain line


And finally . . .

Ken MathiasSo now Alex can look forward to more matches with The Otters and as Ken Mathias told us,

“He has a quite remarkable record in terms of consistency and high-performance levels - and we have been lucky to retain his services for so long because there is no doubt that he could have played at the next level up in the Premiership but chose to stay with us.

“He is a great example to the younger players now forcing their way through to the first team which is unbeaten so far this campaign in the Championship (West) Division - and long may he continue to steer clear of injury and play many more games for us.”

We at could only echo Ken’s thoughts in total agreement and we also wish Alex Jenkins continued success at The Lewis Lloyd Ground, with a club he has already graced for 15 years, and continue to build on his remarkable record of appearances in The Otters’ jersey, which we are convinced will never be beaten in our life time as a record of consistency, fitness and total loyalty to their cause!

Alex Jenkins makes 300 appearances for Narberth which appeared in a past match day programme

Alex Jenkins captain of Narberth RFC

Another lineout take for Alex JenkinsAlex Jenkins takes clean ball at the lineout