Wales v Japan: Sam Warburton backs Jamie Roberts to bounce back

Jamie Roberts
Jamie Roberts was on the bench for Wales against Argentina but was not used
Under Armour Series: Wales v Japan
Date: Saturday, 19 November Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales captain Sam Warburton expects a big performance from Jamie Roberts on his return to face Japan.

Centre Roberts was dropped for the first time since 2009 following the 32-8 defeat by Australia in the first autumn international on 5 November.

Roberts, who wins his 85th cap on Saturday, took the blame for a poor defensive show against the Wallabies.

Warburton said: "I think you're going to see Jamie running some pretty hard lines."

"I think you'll definitely see a reaction from players like Jamie this weekend and players like Dan Lydiate for example," he added.

Warburton will captain Wales for the 49th time on Saturday when they play their third autumn international Test.

"There'll be a few of those guys with a bee in their bonnet, but I think that's a good thing," Warburton added.

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Wales skipper Sam Warburton knows Wales are expected to win

Warburton missed the defeat against Australia as he made a staged return from injury, but played blindside in a team captained by Gethin Jenkins in the 24-20 win over Argentina.

He returns to the openside against Japan and said the poor display against Australia and the way senior players like Roberts and Lydiate were dropped afterwards means there will be no complacency.

"You never want to become comfortable in a Welsh jersey," he added.

Wales' 2016 autumn internationals
3 NovemberLost 8-32 to Australia
12 NovemberBeat Argentina 24-20
19 NovemberJapan
26 NovemberSouth Africa

"Players now, including myself, know that when you take that field you feel you have to prove your worth because you know otherwise - and it's been proved in this campaign - one bad performance and you can lose your shirt."

Japan created one of the biggest shocks in the history of rugby when they beat South Africa 34-32 in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

They also beat a weakened Wales team 23-8 the last time they met in 2013.

But only eight of the side that beat the Springboks are in the current squad and they were beaten 54-20 by Argentina on 5 November.

Warburton says Wales are treating Saturday's game "like a World Cup match", with South Africa to come on 26 November.

"If we get a three-point opportunity we'll take it and not be disrespectful and go for the corner," he said.

"We want to play a bit more expansive rugby and score nice tries, but that might not happen at all in the game, it depends how the game goes."

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Autumn internationals: Ito scores first Japan tries against Wales in 1973

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