Wales experienced a “total disappointment” on Saturday by losing 24-21 in Cardiff against Italy, their fifth defeat in five matches, but “the future is bright”, young captain Dafydd was keen to be positive. Jenkins.

“It’s a feeling of total disappointment. With no disrespect to Italy, as a group of players we want to win these games and beat these teams. It’s a big disappointment,” reacted the Exeter Chiefs second row. “I would tell the fans to stay with us because I promise you the future is bright,” he added.

At 21, Jenkins is the face of the renewal printed by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland with a view to the next World Cup in 2027. “This reconstruction is not more difficult than we thought. We knew the inexperience of our group and the players we asked to play a leadership role,” assured the technician after the defeat in Cardiff. For the staff and players, “it’s about getting the best out of the matches and showing what we have to do,” he added.

“I’m very excited about this group, with young people who will learn from this experience,” said Gatland. Wales finished the Tournament in sixth and last place, a first since 2003. The Leek XV had to compose without the newly retired Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny, without the star winger Louis Rees-Zammit, who left for the States -United to try American football, without Jac Morgan or Dewi Lake, injured like third row Taulupe Faletau.