Firepower of Jarvis threatens Swansea

Cocksure as they come, Lee Jarvis will today endeavour to reassure his Welsh countrymen of the continued existence of that legendary outside- half factory buried deep in the valleys of the principality, writes Chris Hewett.

Given that the emergence of a new challenger for the national No 10 jersey would probably do more for Plaid Cymru's vote next Thursday than any number of party political broadcasts, the 20-year-old rookie carries a heavy burden into this afternoon's Swalec Cup final.

Having consigned Jonathan Davies to the replacements' bench, the goal- kicker will be very much on trial as Cardiff take on Swansea in a classic east-west confrontation amid the ruins of a half-demolished Arms Park. If his confidence levels are anything to go by, he has little to fear.

Alec Evans, the successful Australian coach who has just returned to Britain for a second stint at Cardiff, believes Jarvis possesses the strut and swagger to spark a dangerous-looking back division into meaningful action. With Rob Howley running hot at scrum-half - his three-try performance against Llanelli in the semi-final has already passed into rugby folklore - the "home" side go in with a definite edge.

Especially as Arwel Thomas, the current first-choice stand-off at Test level, will be conspicuous by his absence because of injury. Swansea will find it difficult to paper over that particular crack, although Mark Taylor, their centre, said yesterday: "What we have shown this season is a tremendous spirit that has helped us overcome appalling injury problems."

The way Jarvis has kicked this term, Swansea may end up wishing the Arms Park posts had been sold off early, along with an endless tonnage of other sentimental artefacts. His early penalties against Llanelli were instrumental to the outcome, as were his extraordinary long-range efforts against Bath in last autumn's epic Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Certainly, Davies has no axe to grind over the Cardiff selection. "Lee performed particularly well in the semi-final while I'm a little rusty, having not played much over the last month," he said. "I'm disappointed, obviously, but it's common sense that Lee should play today."

For Mike Ruddock, the Swansea coach, today's showpiece marks the end of a productive sojourn at St Helen's; he takes over as rugby director with Leinster next month. His departure will give the All Whites an emotional incentive to hit the heights this afternoon, but whether that will be enough to spike Jarvis's guns is another question entirely.

Cardiff: J Thomas; S Hill, L Davies, M Hall, N Walker; L Jarvis, R Howley; A Lewis, J Humphreys, L Mustoe, D Jones, K Stewart, H Taylor (capt), O Williams, G Jones. Replacements (probable): J Davies, J Hewlett, P Booth, P Young, J Wakeford, J Ringer.

Swansea: M Back; A Harris, M Taylor, S Gibbs, Simon Davies; A Williams, A Booth; I Buckett, G Jenkins (capt), S Evans, S Moore, P Arnold, A Reynolds, Stuart Davies, R Appleyard. Replacements: L Evans, R Jones, L Davies, D Niblo, K Colclough, E Evans.

Referee: D Davies (WRU).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea