Wales drop Sam Warburton for Samoa clash
November 14, 2012
Ryan Jones will captain Wales against Samoa on Friday night © Getty Images
Ospreys flanker Ryan Jones will skipper Wales against Samoa on Friday evening with Sam Warburton dropped to the bench.
The team shows eight changes in total from the one that lost 26-12 to Argentina on Saturday with Justin Tipuric stepping into the openside berth vacated by the dropped Warburton. Captain Jones - who is skippering the side for a record 29th time - comes into the team in place of the injured Josh Turnbull.
Elsewhere in the pack, Bradley Davies replaces the injured Alun Wyn Jones while Richard Hibbard and Paul James start in place of Matthew Rees and Gethin Jenkins respectively.
And it's all-change in the half-backs with Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar getting the nod over Rhys Priestland and Mike Phillips starting in place of Tavis Knoyle. Ashley Beck is also given a chance in the centres and will partner Jamie Roberts with Scott Williams relegated to the replacements. On the bench, Perpignan lock Luke Charteris is included alongside Ken Owens and Scott Andrews.
Coach Rob Howley will hope that his side bounce back on Friday evening after their poor showing against Argentina and he is looking for the more experienced players in the squad to lead from the front.
"With a short six day turnaround it was important for us to freshen things up and also make use of the competition for places we have within this squad, something which has been a key ingredient for the success of the squad over the last 18 months," Howley said. "In making changes we also needed to bring in some genuine experience. It is important to have leaders throughout the team and we are hoping the likes of Mike Phillips, who made a positive impact last week, can bring his experience to the side.
"Ryan reaches an impressive personal milestone, it will be a huge honour for him but in the context of what happened last week his and the team's priorities are about producing a performance. We know we are under pressure to perform and that pressure is greatest from within.
"This squad has shown in the past that we have the character and resilience to get back to winning ways. We have every confidence that we will come back strongly on Friday night."
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Ashley Beck, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips, Paul James, Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis, Bradley Davies, Ian Evans, Ryan Jones (captain), Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau
Replacements: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Scott Andrews, Luke Charteris, Sam Warburton, Tavis Knoyle, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams
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