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Warburton out as Wales ring changes

Date
Benched ... Wales captain Sam Warburton.

Benched ... Wales captain Sam Warburton. Photo: Reuters

CARDIFF: Wales captain Sam Warburton has dropped to the bench for this weekend's make-or-break international against Samoa, with interim coach Rob Howley making a raft of changes from the team that lost to Argentina.

Saturday's 26-12 defeat by the Pumas at the Millennium Stadium was Wales' fourth loss in a row and left them contemplating the prospect of suffering a whitewash with Australia, who beat them 3-0 in a Test series in June, and New Zealand, who haven't lost to the Welsh since 1953, heading to Cardiff.

Howley, much criticised for his selection policy after the Argentina loss, responded by making eight changes to his starting XV, with Warburton's place going to Justin Tipuric.

As Six Nations Grand Slam-winning captain Warburton, who also led Wales to the semi-finals of last year's World Cup in New Zealand, was on the bench, the captaincy passed to former skipper Ryan Jones, who is now set to lead his country for a record 29th time.

Howley, as well as giving starts to Tipuric and Jones, has also brought in centre Ashley Beck, outside-half Dan Biggar, scrum-half Mike Phillips, second row Bradley Davies, hooker Richard Hibbard and prop Paul James into his 1st XV.

Centre Jamie Roberts retained his place in the run-on side despite going off in the first half against Argentina with what the Welsh Rugby Union described as mild concussion.

Meanwhile, Samoa have served notice of their intention to attack Wales with the announcement of an experienced side.

Halfback Kahn Fotuali'i, who plays his club rugby for Welsh regional side the Ospreys, Maurie Fa'asvalu, a flanker with English champions Harlequins, and Worcester winger David Lemi, the Pacific Islanders' captain, are among six changes from the side that beat Canada 42-12 in Colwyn Bay, north Wales, last Friday.

Samoa will be thirsting for revenge following their World Cup pool defeat by Wales in New Zealand last year.

Fotuali'i, in fine form for the Ospreys this season, replaced Jeremy Su'a while Fa'asavalu came in for Tivani Foma'i.

Former Sale back Paul Williams returned from injury to start in the centre, while there was no place in the 1st XV for Robert Lilomaiava, the four-try hero of the win over Canada, with captain Lemi in the left-wing berth.

Fa'atoina Autagavaia was selected at fullback with James So'oialo suspended after being found guilty of a shoulder charge against Canada, although he could still feature as the Samoa management plan to appeal against the International Rugby Board ruling.

The tourists will be looking to add to their 1991 and 1999 triumphs in Cardiff as they seek to inflict fresh misery on a Wales side smarting after last week's 26-12 Millennium Stadium defeat by Argentina.

Samoa have named just seven replacements, with the eighth to be announced in due course.

Former Leicester winger Alesana Tuilagi and ex-London Irish centre Seilala Mapusua were unavailable for the tour due to injury.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Ashley Beck, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Toby Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Ryan Jones (capt); Ian Evans, Bradley Davies; Aaron Jarvis, Richard Hibbard, Paul James. Res: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Scott Andrews, Luke Charteris, Sam Warburton, Tavis Knoyle, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams.

Samoa: Fa'atoina Autagavaia; Paul Perez, George Pisi, Paul Williams, David Lemi (capt); Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali'i; Taiasina Tuifua, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Ofisa Treviranus; Teofilo Paulo, Daniel Leo; Census Johnston, Wayne Ole Avei, Sakaria Taulafo. Res: Ti'i Paulo, Viliamu Afatia, James Johnston, TBA, Tivani Foma'i, Jeremy Su'a, Johnny Leota, Robert Lilomaiava.

AFP

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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