Seilala Mapusua is hoping Samoa can relive the glory days when they beat Wales in 1999
Big hitting London Irish centre Seilala Mapusua is promising Wales - and Jamie Roberts in particular - a hot reception in tomorrow evening's Invesco Perpetual Series clash at the Millennium Stadium between Wales and Manu Samoa.
Mapusua was the outstanding back in last year's Guinness Premiership and he is relishing the opportunity of playing against Roberts who was the British and Irish Lions player of the tour in South Africa this summer.
"I haven't played against Jamie Roberts before, but he's a quality footballer," Mapusua said. "He's a big man, but he has got silky hands and is deceptively quick. Him and (All Blacks centre) Ma'a Nonu had a real good battle last weekend.
"Roberts is the guy to get Wales going forward, which is what he's good at, and alongside him Tom Shanklin is another quality player with great feet and great hands.
"We will have our work cut out, but in saying that, we will be going out to try to do what we do best. And dare I say it, try and entertain."
Mapusua also handed out praise to an unlikely recipient. "The player I'm really looking forward to coming up against is Gethin Jenkins. He pops up everywhere. He was great against New Zealand, making tackles that most backs would be proud of."
Samoa are attempting to throw off their reputation as a side who prefer carefree rugby to the more structured game played in Europe.
"We are trying to change our approach," Mapusua said. "People have a view of Samoa as being a side that likes to throw the ball around but lacks discipline and blows up long before the end of matches. Most of our side are full-time professionals and we have taken on board the value of preparation, such as conditioning and nutrition.
"We will never lose our core values and we will always prefer running to kicking, but we know we have to be smart rather than known as entertainers. It is frustrating for us because we very rarely play against one of the top sides. We would like a better fixture list and Friday gives us the chance to show that we deserve one."
Samoa: Lui (Apia); Lemi (Wasps), Williams (Clermont Auvergne), Mapusua (London Irish), Tuilagi (Apia); Fili (Wellington), Polu (Bay of Plenty); Va'a (Glasgow), Schwalger (Sale), Johnston (Toulouse); Levi (Newcastle), Tekori (Castres); Stowers (London Irish, capt), Treviranis (Apia West), Tuilagi (Perpignan). Replacements: Williams (Apia West), Taulafo (Tasman), Thompson (Dax), Faamatuianu (Bath), Mai (Apia West), Fa'afili (Leeds), Esau (Apia West).
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.