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Sherratt expects brutal Samoan showdown

22nd June 2017

Matt Sherratt has warned Wales to brace themselves for a physical onslaught against Samoa in Apia on Friday.

The Cardiff Blues backs and attack coach is assisting Wales throughout the summer and expects a formidable challenge from Samoa, who include Rey Lee-Lo in the centre.

Wales are looking to build on their 24-6 victory over Tonga in the Pacific Islands, but are wary of the threat posed by a Samoan team thrashed 78-0 by the All Blacks last weekend.

Sherratt said: "The Samoan onslaught is going to come. They're a very proud team and nation. A couple of their players are from the PRO12, so we know what they're going to be like.

"They don't play in Apia very often and they'll want to do themselves justice. The first 20 minutes are going to be pretty brutal. Shaun Edwards spoke to the team this week and told the young players they're going to have to be ready for that.

"Samoa are a physical bunch at the best of times but their defeat to the All Blacks last week and the fact they're playing back in Apia means it's going to be pretty tasty early on."

Wales' forward pack contains just 31 caps, but McBryde is confident the likes of Ryan Elias, Dillon Lewis and Rory Thornton have both the ability and temperament to cope.

Another factor for Wales to consider is the conditions. Sweltering temperatures in Apia have been complimented by pouring rain and wet weather is forecast for Friday night's game.

Sherratt added: "Everyone is fit and healthy and we're ready to go. We had a session at the stadium late under the floodlights just to make sure we get used to what it's going to be like on Friday evening.

"The weather is pretty unpredictable here. The forecast each day is both bright sunshine and with rain, I think they seem to hedge their bets a bit. We've done a bit of the same and it was obviously poor conditions for the game with Tonga in Auckland. I think we have to prepare for that again.

"In a night game it's usually a little bit greasy and there is rain forecast. We were slapping the sun screen on before training and then we got drenched, so anything could happen."