Educated at Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive school in Beddau, Jenkins first played rugby union aged 13 at Beddau RFC based in Pontypridd, starting out as a flanker but was pushed forward into the front row at age 15.
He won Welsh honours at Welsh Schools U18, U19 and U21 levels and made his Wales debut against Uruguay in 2001. He made the step up to senior international rugby against Romania in Wrexham in November, 2002 and in the 2005 Six Nations Championship he was rated one of the greatest influences in Wales' Grand Slam winning side, scoring a memorable try against Ireland.
He played in all 10 Grand Slam games in 2005 and 2008 and became Wales’ 125th captain when he led the side against South Africa in 2007.
Jenkins helped the Blues win the Amlin Challenge Cup and EDF Energy Cup. After eight seasons with the Blues he moved to French side Toulon, but has recently announced his return to Blues for 2013/14 season. He helped Toulon reach the Heineken Cup final for the first time this season, coming on as a replacement in the semi-final win over Saracens at Twickenham.
In June 2009 Jenkins, Adam Jones and Matthew Rees were selected as the British and Irish Lions front row for the second Test against South Africa. This was the first time an all-Welsh front row was selected for a Lions test match since Billy Williams, Bryn Meredith and Courtney Meredith on the 1955 Lions tour.
Jenkins equals the Welsh record of being selected for three British & Irish Lions tours having earned his place on the 125th anniversary tour to Hong Kong and Australia.