Wales defeat to Argentina a 'blip' says Gavin Henson

WALES V SAMOA

  • Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • Date: Friday, 16 November
  • Kick-off: 19:30 GMT

Coverage: Live on BBC Two Wales, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and online; live score updates on the BBC website

Gavin Henson believes Wales will bounce back against Samoa on Friday following defeat against Argentina.

Wales lost 26-12 to the Pumas in the opening game of the four-Test autumn series.

London Welsh fly-half Henson is confident Wales will beat Samoa and are also capable of defeating New Zealand and Australia.

"You don't become a bad team overnight and that's certainly something Wales are not," Henson said.

Henson, a member of Wales' Grand Slam winning sides of 2005 and 2008, won the last of his 33 caps against England in August 2011.

The 30-year-old broke a wrist during the game and subsequently missed the World Cup in New Zealand and played no part in Wales' Grand Slam campaign of 2012.

"They're one of the leading teams of world rugby. I've been so impressed by them," Henson added.

"I think that was just a blip. [It was their] first game together for a bit of a time and I think they'll put it right against Samoa.

"I'm still confident they can possibly beat New Zealand and Australia.

"I'm not convinced by either of those two teams. I think when Wales get it right they can win."

After Friday's game against Samoa, Wales face World Cup holders New Zealand on 24 November before the visit of Australia on 1 December.

Captain Sam Warburton has been dropped to the bench for Friday's match, one of eight changes announced by interim coach Rob Howley.

Justin Tipuric replaces Warburton at open-side flanker and Henson said his former Ospreys team-mate has been in fine form.

But the former British Lion said the omission of Warburton in the wake of the Argentina defeat had come as a surprise.

"It's surprising … he's [Warburton] been our best player for the last two years," Henson said.

"I'm sure he's disappointed but I'm sure he'll put everything right to get back in there.

"The whole team didn't really play that well and I'm sure they'll turn that around against Samoa."

Teams

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), George North (Scarlets); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Bayonne); Paul James (Bath), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Gethin Jenkins (Toulon), Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

Samoa: F Autagavaia (Northland); P Perez (Eastern Province), G Pisi (Northampton), P Williams (Stade Francais), D Lemi (Worcester, captain); T Pisi (Suntory), K Fotuali'i (Ospreys); S Taulafo (Wasps), O Avei (Bordeaux-Begles), C Johnston (Toulouse), D Leo (Perpignan), T Paulo (North Harbour), O Treviranus (London Irish), M Fa'asavalu (Harlequins), T Tuifua (Newcastle).

Replacements: T Paulo (Clermont Auvergne), V Afatia (Agen), J Johnston (Harlequins), F Lemalu (Mont de Marsan), T Fomai (Hawke's Bay), J Su'a (Tasman), J Leota (Sale), R Lilomaiava (Laulii).