LONDON: Gareth Bale spearheads Ryan Giggs’s Wales squad for his first two competitive fixtures in charge against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark next month. Bale has been in fine form for Real Madrid, scoring in the European champions’ opening two La Liga games, as he looks to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The four-time Champions League winner will carry even more of the attacking burden for his country after Hal Robson-Kanu announced his retirement from international football after a 44-cap career.
Robson-Kanu scored five international goals, most famously netting in a 3-1 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016. “I spoke to him yesterday and it was a difficult decision for him,” said Giggs yesterday.
“He’s had a difficult six months, with the birth of his baby, and he wants to focus on his family and his club career. “He’s an icon in Welsh football with the goal he scored against Belgium and I wish him all the best.”
Giggs has recalled Newcastle defender Paul Dummett after the 26-year-old choose to end his international exile. Captain Ashley Williams also keeps his place despite being sent-off in two of his last three starts at club level for Everton and Stoke.
Wales kick-off their Nations League campaign at home to Ireland on September 6 before travelling to Denmark three days later.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies.
Defenders: Chris Gunter, Connor Roberts, James Chester, Ashley Williams, Chris Mepham, Tom Lockyer, Ben Davies, Paul Dummett, Declan John, Ethan Ampadu.
Midfielders: Joe Allen, Matthew Smith, Aaron Ramsey, Andy King, Joe Ledley, Harry Wilson, David Brooks, Tom Lawrence, Ben Woodburn.
Forwards: Gareth Bale, Sam Vokes, Tyler Roberts. – AFP