Rugby World Cup 2011: Samoa game a 'must win' - Warren Gatland

Rugby World Cup Pool D: Wales v Samoa

Venue:
Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Date:
Sunday, 18 September
Kick-off:
0430 BST / 1530 NZ
Coverage:
Scores and reports on the BBC Sport website plus live text commentaries on selected games including all home nations matches; updates on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Wales; watch live on ITV1/ITV4 & S4C; listen on talkSPORT radio & BBC Radio Cymru
Warren Gatland with Wales players at a training session
Wales coach Warren Gatland returns to his home city of Hamilton on Sunday

Coach Warren Gatland has said Wales' World Cup clash against Samoa on Sunday is a game they cannot afford to lose.

Wales face the Pacific Islanders having narrowly lost to South Africa in their opening Pool D game in New Zealand.

Gatland has named an unchanged side for Sunday's game against Samoa in Hamilton.

"We must win on Sunday, it's the bottom line," said Gatland. "There are no second chances after Sunday. It's that important to us."

In naming an unchanged side for the first time in five years, Gatland said the players who had started in Wellington last Sunday deserved to retain their places.

"It's a message of confidence in terms of the way we performed last week," he said.

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Wales greats Scott Gibbs and Garin Jenkins look back at their World Cup defeats to Samoa

"I think it's a reward to everyone that started last week. We've got everyone fit and hopefully we want to build on last week.

"We all know how important Sunday is. I think we're very aware that we must go out and match the performance from last week."

James Hook continues at full-back while Rhys Priestland retains the number 10 shirt, having impressed Gatland in defeat against the defending world champions.

"Having reviewed the game we were very comfortable with the way that he played," said Gatland.

"Rhys ran when it was on, he's kicked into space well and I think he's given our centres some early ball and some options to attack from."

Scarlets' Priestland retains his place despite calls to move Hook from full-back to fly-half for the Samoa game, and the return to fitness of 100-cap Stephen Jones.

"He [Hook] will be a little disappointed with the way he played at full-back and we expect him to play a bit better there this week," added Gatland.

"There will be more attacking opportunities for him at full-back."

Gatland is well aware of the threat posed by Samoa, a side who have beaten Wales at two previous World Cups.

The Wales coached has singled out wing Alesana Tuilagi, who scored a hat-trick of tries as Samoa started their World Cup campaign with a 49-12 win over Namibia, as a particular threat.

"We know what to expect from them," said the New Zealander. "They're going to be very tough and very physical. We've got to match that physicality.

"A lot of the guys know Tuilagi from Leicester and what he does there. He's not unfamiliar to a lot of players in the northern hemisphere.

"It's no surprise he's made an impact early on in this competition."

For the latest on the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand visit our breaking news and gossip page.

Wales: James Hook (Perpignan); George North (Scarlets), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne); Paul James, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones (all Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Dragons), Sam Warburton (Blues, capt), Toby Faletau (Dragons).

Replacements: Lloyd Burns (Dragons), Gethin Jenkins, Bradley Davies (both Blues), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks), Tavis Knoyle, Scott Williams (both Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Blues).

Samoa: Paul Williams; Sailosi Tagicakibau, George Pisi, Seilala Mapusua, Alesana Tuilagi; Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali'i; Sakaria Taulafo, Mahonri Schwalger (c), Anthony Perenise, Daniel Leo, Kane Thompson, Ofisa Treviranus, Maurie Faasavalu, George Stowers.

Replacements: Ti'i Paulo, Census Johnston, Joe Tekori, Manaia Salavea, Jeremy Sua, Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono, Tasesa Lavea.

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