Jarvis "gutted" by defeat on debut
November 11, 2012
The Pumas claimed a famous victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium © PA Photos
Aaron Jarvis has vowed to continue the hard work after his impressive Test debut provided Wales with a solitary highlight amid the misery of their Argentina horror-show.
Exeter-born Jarvis, who has a Welsh grandmother from Merthyr Tydfil, stepped into the considerable void left by powerhouse prop Adam Jones' injury-enforced absence. Tighthead prop is a position where Wales have lacked strength in depth, but Jarvis acquitted himself well on an otherwise forgettable afternoon for the reigning Six Nations champions.
And with Jones sidelined for the entire autumn series - Samoa, New Zealand and Australia now await Wales - while he recovers from knee trouble, 26-year-old Jarvis' emergence could hardly be more timely. The Bath Rugby academy product is in his second season with the Ospreys, where he has understudied Jones after being signed to offset Wales international Craig Mitchell's departure for Exeter.
Capped by England at under-16 and under-19 levels, Jarvis' Wales debut came against one of the strongest scrums in world rugby and opposite proven Test match performer Marcos Ayerza.
"It was absolutely amazing to win my first cap, but I am absolutely gutted at the same time with the result," said Jarvis, following Wales' 26-12 defeat. "The physicality, that side of it, was harder, but it was a really enjoyable experience.
"There were a couple of positive things, and a few things I need to look at going forward. I knew it would be a step up, so I don't think that was a surprise. Everything is that bit quicker and that bit more physical."
The Wales coaching staff could have switched experienced Bath forward Paul James across the scrum from his normal loosehead position, a move they have made before. Their faith in Jarvis, though, was rewarded as he delivered a mature display, not only scrummaging solidly but also making his fair share of tackles and competing aggressively at the breakdown area.
"It has been an unbelievable couple of weeks. I struggle to put it into words, really," added Jarvis, recalling his selection for Wales' 35-man autumn Test squad and then the starting line-up. I wanted to try and play as much rugby for the Ospreys as I could this season, and then see what happens.
"Luckily, I had a run of games, and then I was over the moon when I got called up for the squad. It has been a great experience. I've got to keep working hard, and hopefully I will continue to be involved."
Jarvis looks set to retain his place in the front-row against Samoa next Friday night, before New Zealand and Australia come calling. On available evidence against Argentina, Wales need a huge all-round improvement.
"The energy was there, it was just unfortunate we didn't get the result," said Jarvis, recalling the Argentina debacle. "The mood at half-time was positive. We were keeping the ball and winning penalties, but unfortunately the second half was a different story."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside