Problems at tighthead as Wales coaches look beyond injured ace
WALES’ coaches admit finding a back up for the injured Adam Jones at tighthead prop is proving to be a serious problem.
They could be without the triple Grand Slam winner for their autumn international series opener against Argentina in Cardiff on November 10.
Jones suffered a recurrence of a knee injury when the Ospreys went down 39-22 to Leicester at Welford Road in the Heineken Cup on the weekend.
But Wales may have found the man to fill the gap in a fellow Ospreys prop many fans may not have heard of until this week.
Exeter-born Aaron Jarvis was the only uncapped player to be named in Wales’ 35-man squad for the autumn internationals.
Although he qualifies for Wales through a grandmother from Merthyr, the 26-year-old was very much made in England.
He is the product of the Bath Academy and was capped by England at Under-16 and U-19 level before moving to the Liberty Stadium last year.
Jarvis did well on Sunday when he came on for the 83-times capped Jones in the 48th minute against the Tigers.
He deputised for the 31-year-old 2009 Lions star at the beginning of the season, when Jones was again injured, and Jarvis is someone impressing Wales forwards coach Robin Mc-Bryde.
“Aaron’s playing tight-head, he’s playing regularly and he’s playing well,” he said.
“It isn’t a position where we have great strength in depth behind Adam, but Aaron is someone who has really taken his opportunity since the start of the season.”
McBryde added: “He’s been hugely competitive at the Ospreys and his coaches there are very happy with the way his game is improving.
“Hopefully, a spell in this environment and a trip to Poland (Wales leave for a training camp in Spala on the weekend) will see him develop further.
“He did very well against (Marcos) Ayerza in Leicester. The Ospreys scrum held up well after he came on.
“He can get around the park and is quite mobile.
“It’s important we create depth and it’s important we create competition, because we need someone to put pressure on Adam Jones.”
Jarvis may get the chance for a return match with Pumas prop Ayerza sooner than he thought.
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