sport

Suasua wary of wounded Wales

Samoa assistant coach Darryl Suasua expects to feel the full force of a Wales backlash when the sides meet at the Millennium Stadium on Friday.

Wales are reeling after their 26-12 humbling at the hands of Argentina on Saturday, where they turned in their worst performance since the end of the 2011 Six Nations.

There is plenty of trepidation in the principality with Samoa, who have proven to be a bogey side for the Welsh, ready to lock horns this weekend.

The South Sea Islanders claimed victories in Cardiff in 1991 and 1999, and were narrowly beaten 17-13 when the sides last met in the Welsh capital in 2009.

More recently, Wales edged a bruising World Cup pool stage encounter 17-10 in New Zealand just over a year ago.

But Suasua believes there is no way their hosts will perform as poorly as they did against the Pumas.

He said: "The key thing for us is to play our game. Argentina playing so well did not do us any favours.

"Wales will be smarting over that and making sure they get things right, they made a heck of a lot of errors last week but are a top tier nation and we don't believe they will play like that again."

Wales have made eight changes, with regular captain Sam Warburton named among the replacements as the likes of Dan Biggar, Justin Tipuric and Richard Hibbard are handed starts while Ryan Jones takes over the captaincy.

However, Suasua is not surprised by the alterations to the Welsh line-up.

He said: "I am not too sure why they have made the eight changes but they would not have been happy with what happened against Argentina.

"After a performance like that there will always be consequences. They will be working very hard to put things right."

The Samoans have themselves made six changes from the side that beat Canada 42-12 in Colwyn Bay last Friday.

Ospreys scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i, Worcester wing David Lemi and Harlequins flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu are among those to return to the starting XV.

Fotuali'i, in superb form for the Ospreys this season, comes in for Jeremy Su'a, while Fa'asavalu replaces Tivani Foma'i.

Former Sale back Paul Williams returns from injury to start in the centre, but there is no place in the starting line-up for Robert Lilomaiava, the four-try hero of the win over Canada, as captain Lemi takes the left-wing slot.

Faatoina Autagavaia is selected at full-back with James So'oialo suspended after being found guilty of a shoulder charge against Canada, although he could yet feature as the Samoa management plan to appeal the International Rugby Board ruling, while Daniel Leo joins Teofilo Paulo in the second row

Fotuali'i has first-hand knowledge of Welsh rugby thanks to his stint at the Liberty Stadium, and will also be able to provide an insight on his regional half-back colleague Biggar as the pair prepare to face each other.

And Suasua praised Fotuali'i's influence as the former Crusaders' half-back prepares to face several of his Ospreys colleagues.

He said: "Kahn has been pretty invaluable. He is a key leader within the team and his knowledge of some of their players is something we take into consideration. He has been feeding some stuff back to us. He analyses the game well and brings quite a bit to us."