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Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:51 UK

Earnshaw recalled to Wales squad

Robert Earnshaw
Earnshaw moved to Forest in the summer for 2.65m

Nottingham Forest striker Rob Earnshaw has been added to the Wales squad for their opening World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan on 6 September.

Earnshaw, 27, was not included in boss John Toshack's original squad but West Ham's Craig Bellamy and Coventry's Freddy Eastwood are both injury doubts.

Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams has also been brought in because of concerns over James Collins' fitness.

It is the first senior call-up for the 20-year-old, an Under-21 regular.

Williams is the 10th Under-21-qualified players in Toshack's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Russia on 6 and 10 September.

Wayne Hennessey, Chris Gunter, Gareth Bale, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, David Edwards, David Cotterill, Ched Evans and Sam Vokes come in.

Uncapped Arsenal midfielder Ramsey is joined by Doncaster's Brian Stock.

Oldham's Neal Eardley and Plymouth's Jermaine Easter have not been included.

Although Toshack has selected so many of the talented youngsters at his disposal, all apart from Cardiff midfielder Ledley have also been named in the Wales U21 squad.

That is because it is possible that some of the players involved with the Wales senior squad for the match with Azerbaijan in Cardiff may be released to travel with the U21s.


Brian Flynn's youngsters must win their last Group 10 match away to Romania in Lasi on 9 September to reach a play-off for qualifying to the Uefa Championship finals.

Toshack's major concern for the seniors is in central defence, with Danny Gabbidon not expected to return until 2009 and Lewin Nyatanga not expected to be fit in time for Azerbaijan.

Collins has been out for seven months with a knee injury but has recently returned to action with West Ham's second team.

However, the opening games in Group Four could come too soon as Collins strives to regain full match fitness.

In the wake of Wednesday's 2-1 defeat in a friendly against Georgia, Toshack admitted he would have little option but to pick non-League Wrexham's Steve Evans.

At the time the Wales manager said: "We do not have many alternatives at centre-back.

"Steve Evans, when he has played, has never let us down.

"People point to Wrexham's last season and his club now being outside the (Football) League, but if we look around there is not much choice.

"Chris Gunter can play a central role and Carl Fletcher has done it too - and we could try to use three defenders there to compensate.

"I am presented with an area of the field where we are very, very limited.

"I will want to look hard at what happened against Georgia - if you are not solid in the centre of defence you will be in trouble."

Wales squad: Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Boaz Myhill (Hull City), Lewis Price (Derby County), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), James Collins (West Ham), Steve Evans (Wrexham), Chris Gunter (Tottenham Hotspur), Craig Morgan (Peterborough United), Sam Ricketts (Hull City), Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Andrew Crofts (Gillingham), Simon Davies (Fulham), David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Carl Fletcher (Crystal Palace), Owain Tudur Jones (Swansea City), Jason Koumas (Wigan Athletic), Joe Ledley (Cardiff City), Paul Parry (Cardiff City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Carl Robinson (Toronto FC), Brian Stock (Doncaster Rovers), Craig Bellay (West Ham), David Cotterill (Sheffield United), Freddy Eastwood (Coventry City), Ched Evans (Manchester City), Sam Vokes (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Wales Under-21 squad: Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Rhys Taylor (Chelsea), Owain Fn Williams (Stockport County), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Matthew Collins (Swansea City), Neal Eardley (Oldham Athletic), Chris Gunter (Tottenham Hotspur), Grant Basey (Charlton Athletic), Darcy Blake (Cardiff City), Lloyd James (Southampton), Rhoys Wiggins (Crystal Palace), Mike Williams (Wrexham), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough), James Wilson (Bristol City), Nicky Adams (Leicester City), Joe Allen (Swansea City), Mark Bradley (Walsall), Jack Collison (West Ham), David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Andy King (Leicester City), Shaun MacDonald (Swansea City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Jonathan Brown (Cardiff City), Simon Church (Reading), David Cotterill (Sheffield United), Ched Evans (Manchester City), Sam Vokes (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

see also
Parry seeks Eastwood partnership
21 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Toshack blasts 'schoolboy' errors
20 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Wales 1-2 Georgia
20 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Flynn rallies young Wales charges
20 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Toshack positive after tough draw
25 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Country profile: Azerbaijan
03 Jul 08 |  Country profiles
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
International tables
26 Nov 07 |  Tables
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales

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