23 Jun 2017

Sport: Wales expecting "step up" against Manu Samoa

9:52 am on 23 June 2017

Wales are expecting another step up in intensity when they face Manu Samoa in Apia tonight.

A Red Dragons team missing 12 frontline players to the British and Irish Lions beat Tonga 24-6 in Auckland last week in wet and greasy conditions.

Wales fullback Gareth Anscombe in action against Tonga.

An inexperienced Welsh team proved too strong for Tonga at Eden Park. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A further four Welsh players have since been called into the Lions squad, with seven changes made to the starting fifteen that will run out onto Apia Park.

21 year old centre Tyler Morgan will go head to head with Samoa's Kieron Fonotia in midfield, having played against the Ospreys man for his club team in Wales and was expecting a bruising encounter in his fourth test, and first since the 2015 World Cup.

"Samoa are just going to be another step above again," he said.

"Obviously they've got a lot of boys in Europe and a few of the (Wales) boys play with a few of their boys so it's going to be an interesting game.

"Again, they're going to be physical, they're going to look to play a bit more and it's going to be a good test for us."

"It's obviously a great opportunity for the young boys coming on this tour and would put out a big statement now if we can get these two wins," said Morgan.

"With the young team we have and all the experience we have missing, just to show the strength and depth we've got coming through, and I think the younger boys are going to take it with both hands."

Tyler Morgan takes on the Fijian defence during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Tyler Morgan takes on the Fijian defence during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Tyler Morgan is visiting the Pacific for the first time and said Wales are mindful of the humid conditions but don't expect it will alter their gameplan.

Wales have won five of their previous nine tests against Samoa, although the Manu did prevail in the last encounter in Cardiff five years ago, and when the teams last played in Apia in 1994.