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Page last updated at 07:15 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Howley backs Peel to show class

WALES v SAMOA
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: 13 November Kick-off: 1930 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TWO Wales & online, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, plus radio commentary online


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Rob Howley on Dwayne Peel

Attack coach Rob Howley says Dwayne Peel will show his ability when the scrum-half returns for Wales against Samoa following a player-release row.

"Dwayne kicked me out of the Wales number nine shirt, I know how good he is," said the ex-Wales and Lions star.

"I just don't think we've seen the best of Dwayne for whatever reason... injury, unavailability.

"There's no doubt Dwayne wants to be a huge part of this team and he's got a great opportunity [on Friday]."

Rather than tackling the All Blacks with Wales last Saturday, 28-year-old Peel made a substitute's appearance for Sale in their low-key LV Cup defeat against Newport Gwent Dragons the previous evening.

Peel relishing return for Wales

Because the New Zealand fixture fell outside the International Rugby Board's recognised autumn Test window, Premier Rugby's directive to their 12 member clubs is that players should not be released for Tests not involving England.

"It was bitterly disappointing, very frustrating," said 69-cap Peel, who watched from the stands as Wales lost 19-12 to New Zealand.

"It was a ruling put in place by Premier Rugby. I didn't agree with it, but there was nothing really that could have been done."

Such rows have led to speculation that Peel will return to a Welsh region when his Sale contract runs out at the end of the season.

606: DEBATE

"I haven't really sat down to think about it yet," said the player, who started all three Lions Tests in 2005 after winning the Grand Slam with Wales.

"I've focused, really, on getting back fit and playing well for Sale. I will worry about that afterwards.

"It is for me to sit down when the time right is right and discuss it. I will have to speak to a number of people, and go from there.

"I've been really looking forward to having a crack at these autumn games. It's a big opportunity, and the ball is in my court to perform."

Wales backs coach Howley, acknowledged as one of Wales' greatest scrum-halves, certainly feels that the move to England has damaged Peel's international career.

Hook happy to continue at 15

"It's been a frustrating period of time for Dwayne [at Sale] being number one then number two [choice scrum-half at Sale]," Howley told BBC Sport Wales.

"Any player wants to be first choice week-in, week-out, otherwise you lose rhythm and timing.

"There's no doubt that Dwayne's game suffered because of that, but he's looked sharp in training.

"We've got a very experienced number nine who is looking to make a difference and put his hand up.

"We're looking forward to seeing that half-back partnership with Dan Biggar."

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see also
Peel recalled for 70th Wales cap
10 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Biggar sends 10 warning to Jones
11 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Stowers leads Samoa against Wales
11 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Tsunami to motivate Samoa players
10 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
The bone-rattlers: Samoan rugby
04 Aug 09 |  Rugby Union
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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Scrum.com Wales taking no chances against Samoa - 2 hrs ago
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Wasps Rugby Online Wasps prepare for Gloucester battle in the LV=Cup - 18 hrs ago
Guardian.co.uk Gatland full of praise for Wales's Biggar - 20 hrs ago
Eircom.net Biggar tipped to make impact on Welsh rugby - 29 hrs ago


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