Sport Rugby

Sunday 17 December 2017

Wary Gatland keeps the faith for Samoan clash

Wales coach Warren Gatland is sticking with the same XV which lost by a point to World champions South Africa for tomorrow's crucial Pool D match against Samoa.

In the only change to the 22-man match squad which went down 17-16 to the Springboks last weekend, prop Gethin Jenkins replaces Ryan Bevington on the bench.

Wales missed golden late chances to edge South Africa in what would have been a major upset result, with full-back James Hook missing a penalty and out-half Rhys Priestland failing with an attempted drop goal.

The Welsh are wary of a Samoa line-up that has already scored a victory over Australia this season.

The Samoans, who have a history of upsetting Wales at the World Cup, opened with a convincing 49-12 win over Namibia on Wednesday.

"Samoa are going to have a lot of support, as will Fiji when we come back to play them in the final game of our pool," Gatland said.

"But we are hoping some of the Waikato people will be getting behind Wales as well.

"We played there on our summer tour of New Zealand last year and I told all of the players what to expect then."

Samoa coach Fuimaono Tufua has made only one change to his team, with Ofisa Treviranus replacing Taiasina Tuifua on the blindside flank.

Wales v Samoa, Live, tomorrow, Setanta Ireland, ITV, 4.30am

Irish Independent

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