Former Rugby Sevens player Ed Jenkins will tackle the Western Sydney ironman 70.3 at Penrith.
Former Rugby Sevens player Ed Jenkins will tackle the Western Sydney ironman 70.3 at Penrith.

Rugby gun’s weird plan for success in new sport

Former Australian Rugby Sevens captain Ed Jenkins has gone into his enforced retirement from the sport which took him to the Olympic arena kicking and screaming.

Jenkins hated retiring, believes he had many more years at the top of his game and passionately wanted to be in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics next year.

Instead he will be watching his former Australian teammate from the sidelines after reoccurring shoulder injuries and multiple surgeries ended his career prematurely.

"If it wasn't for three shoulder reconstructions which called the end of my career I could have easily seen myself playing for a lot, lot longer," said Jenkins, who grew up in Roseville but now lives at Rushcutters Bay.

"The rest of the body was still good so I thought I would go around for a second Olympic campaign and at the end of that would look at going back across and playing some 15's at the later part of my career.

"I didn't get that opportunity, so I am looking for something to move onto now.''

Jenkins is looking "to fill the void" left by the loss of his career with a strange plan which will see him race for Western Sydney 70.3 half ironman triathlon for around five hours without properly training for it.

 

Ed Jenkins contested his first half marathon recently in Sydney.
Ed Jenkins contested his first half marathon recently in Sydney.

"You could do the training and make it quite easy. I want to push myself, come in blind, grit my teeth and go for it.

"I like putting myself in a dark spot and trying to get out of it.

""I haven't done much training so this is a mental thing for me.''

He also likes pain. Really likes it and considers it a secret to his success in the past and future.

"I love pain. That's probably my go-to place," said Jenkins who will race the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 22km run in the half ironman at Penrith.

"I am quite mentally tough. It's something I pride myself on.

"I could train up to do this but I am looking at this from a mental aspect. I'll try and do it by gritting my teeth and just doing it."

While comfortable riding and running, Jenkins said the opening swim leg could be problematic.

"I'm really fearful of the swimming leg,'' he said. "I know if I can get out of the water OK I'll be fine in the rest of the race.''

Ed Jenkins was one of Australia’s most experienced players and prolific scorers in Rugby Sevens
Ed Jenkins was one of Australia’s most experienced players and prolific scorers in Rugby Sevens