'Idiots': Ex-All Blacks hit out at Jarvo 69 and Welsh pitch invader
Former All Blacks have taken aim at notorious prankster Daniel Jarvis and a Welsh fan for their pitch invading exploits over the weekend.
For a second week running, Jarvis, known by his alias ‘Jarvo 69’, breached stadium security to line up alongside the Brave Blossoms in full Japanese kit during the team’s national anthem prior to their test against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
It came after Jarvis, who has earned a following on social media for intruding high-profile sporting events across the United Kingdom and Ireland, pulled off the same stunt in an All Blacks kit ahead of New Zealand’s win over Wales in Cardiff.
While some have found Jarvis’ pitch invasions amusing, the Englishman hasn’t earned any plaudits from All Blacks great Sir John Kirwan, who joked he should try invade an MMA bout for his next prank.
Speaking on The Breakdown, Kirwan said “idiots” like Jarvis, and the pitch invader who cost Wales a try-scoring opportunity late in their 23-18 defeat to the Springboks at Principality Stadium on Saturday, are having a negative effect on rugby.
“The saddest thing for me is idiots like that, if I can be a bit rude, are taking it away from the seven-and-eight-year-olds that we could let onto the pitch afterwards so that they can touch their heroes and stuff like that,” Kirwan said.
“The security needs to get better. I laughed at Jarvo, I thought it was funny the first week [when he ran out alongside the All Blacks]. I didn’t think it was funny this week.”
The former Italy, Japan and Blues head coach took further aim at the Welsh pitch invader, who has since been handed a lifetime ban by the Welsh Rugby Union [WRU], for the implications his actions could have had on those around him.
The unnamed fan was tackled to the ground by a security guard inside the South African 22 as Wales were hot on attack deep in enemy territory as they aimed to break the 15-all deadlock with little more than 15 minutes to play.
By breaking onto the field, the fan disrupted the Welsh attack and prevented the hosts from capitalising on a possible try-scoring chance as Wales star Liam Williams was forced to pivot around him after being put into space by teammate Johnny McNicholl.
Kirwan said not only did the pitch invader cost his team a potential try, but he also endangered the security guards who were forced to chase after him.
“That clown that ran on, I felt sorry for the security lady that was running behind him who could have been cleaned up. Someone’s going to get injured, and so the security just needs to get better.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 9, 2021
All Blacks centurion Mils Muliaina agreed with Kirwan’s sentiments as he told The Breakdown that the WRU need to improve their security at Principality Stadium, especially after Jarvis’ antics at the same ground the week beforehand.
“I think the home nation is responsible. What’s most frustrating is the way they’ve done it. They’ve done it with ease,” Muliaina said.
“They’ve basically just walked on there and the security guards haven’t even noticed, the way they’ve jumped over the hoardings.
“This idiot here, he possibly could have cost his team a try, and I know he got dished for it from the crowd, but, surely from the week before, the Welsh union should know that security’s got to be really high this week.”
Muliaina added that pitch invaders need to be stopped in a bid to prevent a repeat of when drunk South African fan Pieter van Zyl dislocated the shoulder of Irish referee David McHugh during a test between the Springboks and All Blacks in Durban in 2002.
“How does he actually get in there, and what are the consequences for what he’s done from the week before? Obviously none, so it’d be sad if we were talking like this had a player been injured or someone had been tackled, similar to what happened in South Africa when the referee got taken out,” Muliaina said.
“We don’t want to be talking about it, so, yes, it’s funny, but I think it’s come to a stage now where it’s becoming ridiculous.”
Former All Blacks star and The Breakdown host Jeff Wilson expressed disappointment that World Rugby hadn’t sanctioned the WRU for not protecting those involved in the matches from pitch invaders, whose actions he described as “unacceptable”.
Wilson also suggested that, given the ease of which he invaded the All Blacks vs Wales and Ireland vs Japan tests, Jarvis received help to break onto the field in both matches.
That notion was supported by former All Blacks hooker James Parsons, who questioned whether Jarvis’ stunts – which have also been seen at England vs India cricket tests, NFL matches in London and the 2016 Rio Olympics – were part of something more elaborate.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 8, 2021
Regardless of whether his pranks were being supported or if he is acting as a lone culprit, Parsons told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod that Jarvis’ actions are putting test matches at risk given the strict Covid protocols visiting teams are touring under.
“Is it a stitch-up? Is it an advertising campaign or something that everyone knows about that’s going to be released? How is he doing it?” Parsons said.
“I know he’s in full kit, but with all the intensity of Covid protocols, he’s really putting the game at risk.
“I know some people find it funny, but there’s a lot that goes into making sure that everyone’s safe and well and these games can be played, and that puts that in jeopardy, so that just makes me think, are we out of the secret or out of the loop here?”
Crusaders and Maori All Blacks halfback Bryn Hall added that while he doesn’t condone what Jarvis has done, he said the prankster has done well to capture global headlines.
“It must be doing wonders for his social media or his Instagram because we’re talking about it and we’re in New Zealand, so fair play to him, but it’s putting people at risk,” Hall told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.
“You talk around Covid and then the test match on the weekend with Wales and South Africa, a massive moment in that game, for some idiot to come onto the field and take away that moment.
“Whether it’s an inside job that we’re not knowing about, it’s making media around the world and it’s even being talked about in New Zealand, so he’s doing his job well.”
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