Gatland makes changes for Samoa match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gatland makes changes for Samoa match

11/11/2009 10:01:31 AM Comments (0)

Wales coach Warren Gatland made five changes to his side for Friday's international against Samoa at the Millennium Stadium from the team beaten 19-12 by New Zealand last weekend.

Experienced scrum-half Dwayne Peel returns in place of Gareth Cooper while Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar takes over from Stephen Jones and Cardiff Blues wing Tom James comes in for British and Irish Lions flyer Shane Williams.

Up front, 21-year-old flanker Sam Warburton is set to win just his second cap after his veteran Cardiff team-mate Martyn Williams was stood down while Huw Bennett starts at hooker.

Peel was unavailable to face the All Blacks last Saturday because his club, English Premiership side Sale, were under no obligation to release him as the match fell outside the International Rugby Board's agreed "window" for this month's internationals.

Wales have only won three of their six Tests against Samoa and have twice lost to the Pacific Islanders in World Cup matches in Cardiff.

But the teams' last meeting, nine years ago in the Welsh capital, saw Wales win 50-6.

After the Samoa match, Wales complete their November programme with home Tests against Argentina and Australia.

Wales team to play Samoa in a one-off international at the Millennium Stadium at Cardiff on Friday:


James Hook; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Tom James; Dan Biggar, Dwayne Peel; Ryan Jones (capt), Sam Warburton, Andy Powell; Luke Charteris, Alun-Wyn Jones; Paul James, Huw Bennett, Gethin Jenkins

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Craig Mitchell, Bradley Davies, Jonathan Thomas, Martin Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Morgan Stoddart

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