Rugby: Ayerza ready to Test Jarvis

Argentina prop Marcos Ayerza hopes he can turn Wales rookie Aaron Jarvis' Test debut into a baptism of fire.

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Ospreys tighthead Jarvis, 26, faces the unenviable task of attempting to fill the boots of his regional colleague Adam Jones, widely regarded as one of the best props in the world.

As if that were not enough, the Exeter-born forward must do so against one of the most feared packs in the game, as the Pumas seek a win in Cardiff to go with their 2001 success.

Leicester loosehead Ayerza and Jarvis have gone head-to-head previously, with the Tigers prevailing 39-22 against Ospreys in the Heineken Cup meeting between the sides at Welford Road last month.

Jarvis impressed for the visitors, and even won a couple of penalties out of Ayerza at scrum time when the Argentinian came on in the second half.

But Ayerza, 29, has warned his rival he did not get to see the best of him that day, and is looking to make sure Jarvis has an uncomfortable day at the coalface.

He said: "I played against him in Leicester and I only had two opportunities to scrum against him, and on both occasions it was a reset scrum where we were penalised so we could not actually scrummage properly against him.

"So it is a massive challenge for me to properly scrummage against him. He is well regarded in Wales and the Ospreys and it will be a big test for me and the rest of the pack against the Wales forwards.

"Adam Jones will be massively missed for them, he has been the anchor man in their scrum for many years and is a big personality in the Wales squad.

"He has been doing really well, Wales will miss him a lot and they will want him to come back fit soon as he is a quality player and one of the best tightheads in the world.

"Hopefully we can take advantage. We know Jarvis will be up for the battle and the occasion because it is a massive game for him and we need to make sure he does not receive a good welcome to Test rugby.

"We pride ourselves on our scrum and we want to have dominance up front in every game we play. We respect the Welsh scrum but we are confident there will be a huge battle there and we are looking to have a dominance up front and get some momentum in the game."

The Pumas are in Cardiff just a few weeks after completing an impressive debut campaign in the Rugby Championship, where they narrowly missed out on victories over Australia and South Africa.

With Santiago Phelan's squad having been together for an extended period of time, Ayerza feels this is as well prepared as Argentina have ever been for a November tour.

He said: "It seems like we have been together for a long time and that has not happened before, it is a positive new experience and we are looking forward to the huge challenge of facing Wales.

"It is a huge opportunity and it depends on ourselves. We want to keep going forward and developing, we are in a good moment but it depends on our hunger to improve. It's a big challenge to face one of the best sides in the world, which Wales are."



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