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Gareth Davies urges Wales to get back to winning ways against Argentina

Published 09/11/2016

Scrum-half Gareth Davies knows the importance of an immediate response following defeat against Australia when Wales tackle Argentina on Saturday
Scrum-half Gareth Davies knows the importance of an immediate response following defeat against Australia when Wales tackle Argentina on Saturday

Gareth Davies says Wales are determined to "make it right" on Saturday after their autumn Test series began with barely a whimper against Australia.

The Wallabies' Rugby Championship rivals Argentina are next up for Davies and company, arriving in Cardiff just a week after Wales suffered their heaviest home defeat since 2006.

Wales are also reeling from five successive Test reversals - their worst results sequence since the 2012-13 season - and conceding 26 tries in losing to England, New Zealand (three times) and now Australia.

Recent history suggests they will start as favourites against the Pumas, having won four of the last five meetings, but it is likely to be far from straightforward.

"It's been a tough couple of days in camp," said scrum-half Davies, who is set to replace an injured Rhys Webb when interim head coach Rob Howley announces his team on Thursday.

"Everyone came back in on Monday morning and we've been quite hard on ourselves. We are looking forward to the end of the week and hopefully putting things right against Argentina.

"It's nice to have a game so quickly, especially after that type of performance against Australia. We just can't wait to get out there and hopefully put things right."

The Wales players have met and discussed what went wrong against Australia, and Davies added: "The boys put their hands up, in fairness to them. It was an honest meeting.

"There were a few bad decisions made against Australia and a few mistakes in attack. That's why the boys are itching to get back out there this weekend, to make it right.

"The tempo was a big factor going into the Australia game, but we couldn't get it going. We want to have a good tempo in the game we play.

"It comes down to winning the collisions first, and then it's down to me and the nines and 10s to take over and control the game. The speed of ball is massive."

Davies proved a high-class replacement for Webb, who missed the tournament through injury, during last year's World Cup, scoring five tries in five games as Wales reached the quarter-finals.

He has not started a Test since Wales were beaten by England in the RBS 6 Nations Championship eight months ago, but is likely to be among a number of changes following the 32-8 Wallabies drubbing.

Centre Jonathan Davies, lock Alun Wyn Jones and flanker Sam Warburton all seem poised for returns, while Liam Williams appears a probable back-three starter if he is fully fit after missing the Australia game through injury.

If Williams is available, then that could mean Leigh Halfpenny moving from full-back to wing, and it might be Dan Lydiate who makes way for Warburton, with the Wales skipper packing down at blindside flanker, Justin Tipuric remaining at openside and Ross Moriarty continuing in the number eight role.

"Obviously, I am gutted for Webby," Davies said. "He has had some bad luck with injuries over the last 12 months.

"But, hopefully, it's an opportunity for me to get a bit of game-time and have an impact on the autumn series. I rate Webby, he is a great player, so it's good to have competition in the squad - it keeps us on our toes.

"We have played our first game now, hopefully blown the cobwebs away, and on Saturday we can go out all guns blazing."

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