Howley admits Wales feeling the pressure
Rob Howley has accepted that reigning Six Nations champions Wales are under pressure as they prepare to tackle Samoa at the Millennium Stadium tonight.
Wales’ interim head coach will send out a team showing eight changes from the one that collapsed to a 26-12 defeat against Argentina in Cardiff last weekend. Sam Warburton, Gethin Jenkins and Rhys Priestland – all key players during last season’s successful Six Nations and World Cup campaigns – are among those who drop to the bench for Samoa’s visit. Ryan Jones will lead Wales for a record 29th time, while a piercing spotlight is set to focus on young talent like out-half Dan Biggar and openside flanker Justin Tipuric as Howley’s men target an immense improvement before tackling world champions New Zealand next week.
“We are always disappointed when the expectations of performance fall below a level,” said Howley, who confirmed that lock Ian Evans sat out training yesterday because of a back spasm, but he is expected to start tonight. “There has been a lot of straight-talking between the coaches and players.”