Gatland rings Wales changes for Samoa clash

Wales' head coach Warren Gatland has made five changes from the team beaten by New Zealand for Friday night's Millennium Stadium clash against Samoa.

Cardiff Blues' 21-year-old flanker Sam Warburton is among the players called up, winning just his second cap.



Warburton takes over from his Blues colleague Martyn Williams, while one other switch up front sees a start for Ospreys hooker Huw Bennett.



Behind the scrum, Blues wing Tom James, Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar and experienced Sale Sharks scrum-half Dwayne Peel all start as respective replacements for Shane Williams, Stephen Jones and Gareth Cooper.



Peel was unavailable for the 19-12 All Blacks defeat last Saturday because Sale were under no obligation to release him as the game fell outside the International Rugby Board's recognised autumn Test window.



The substitutes, meanwhile, include rookie Ospreys prop Craig Mitchell and Mitchell's regional colleague, flanker Jonathan Thomas. Thomas could not be considered to face New Zealand because of suspension.



Wales have only beaten Samoa three times from six attempts, and two of those defeats came in Cardiff. The countries last met nine years ago.



Gatland said: "We've named a strong side and shown the maximum amount of respect to Samoa.



"They have proved to be a difficult side for Welsh teams in the past, and we don't expect the standard to be any different on Friday night.



"They are a tough, physical team with players featuring for some of Europe's top sides, and there is no question of us underestimating what we are up against."



As for the changes in personnel, Gatland added: "Dan Biggar is a bright prospect, and his performances at the Ospreys this season mean he fully deserves his opportunity.



"Dan is surrounded by experience with Dwayne Peel and Jamie Roberts on either side of him, which should help further his smooth transition to international rugby.



"Tom James has another chance to show us what he can do, and Sam Warburton has been knocking on the door for some time after impressing the coaches on tour to North America this summer.



"But, elsewhere, we have maintained a consistency in selection.



"We will be looking to put a performance in on Friday night that will help create the momentum to finish off this series with wins and build on what we achieved for large parts of the game against New Zealand."

Wales team to play Samoa at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, November 13:

Team: J Hook (Ospreys); L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), T James (Cardiff Blues); D Biggar (Ospreys), D Peel (Sale Sharks); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), H Bennett (Ospreys), P James (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), L Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), A Powell (Cardiff Blues), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues), R Jones (Ospreys, capt).



Replacements: M Rees (Scarlets), C Mitchell (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), J Thomas (Ospreys), M Roberts (Scarlets), J Davies (Scarlets), M Stoddart (Scarlets).





BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test