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Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 15:32 UK

Collison is 'committed' to Wales

Jack Collison
Collison shows his hurt after Wales' UEFA Under-21 play-off loss to England

Brian Flynn insists that young Wales midfielder Jack Collison will not switch international allegiances and play for England.

The dual-qualified 20-year-old was born in Watford but has won four Wales caps as his grandfather was born in the Blaenau Gwent area.

Collison can change nationality if he has not played a competitive senior Wales international and is under 21.

But Welsh youth guru Flynn said: "He is 100% committed to the Wales cause."

Wales were rocked by the news that promising young defender Rhys Williams was to switch nationalities and represent Australia, the land of his birth.

The 20-year-old Middlesbrough centre-back, who has a Welsh grandmother, won eight Wales under-21 caps and won a call into John Toshack's senior squad before injury struck.

Williams changed allegiances when Australia offered them in a place in their squad with the Socceroos needing just one point away from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals.

Welsh football fans fear Collison could follow Williams' example turn his back on Wales for Fabio Capello's England.

The promising West Ham United star, who won his first cap in a 1-0 defeat in Iceland in May 2008, scored twice in seven Wales under-21 games and has made four appearances for Toshack's senior side - but all in friendly fixtures.

Brian Flynn
We're looking forward to an outstandingly bright international future for Jack with Wales

Wales youth guru Brian Flynn

Collison, though, was an unused substitute in their 2010 World Cup qualifying defeat in Germany last October.

But Flynn insists Wales will not be left to rue not capping Collison in that 1-0 loss in Monchengladbach.

"Knowing Jack as I do, there is no chance whatsoever of him changing his allegiance," Flynn, a member of Toshack's Welsh backroom team, told BBC Sport.

"Jack has given me assurances and has given that statement many times before and he has also made that statement by his performances on the pitch for Wales."

Article 18 of the Fifa statutes says that "if a player has more than one nationality...or if a player is eligible to play for several representative teams due to nationality, he may, up to his 21st birthday, and only once, request to change."

The statute continues that "a player can only change if he has not played a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition at "A" international level for his current association."

Collison is one of many talented youngsters that has rolled off Flynn's Wales production line that also includes Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale, Wayne Hennessey, Chris Gunter, Joe Ledley and Ched Evans.

The young playmaker, who has been hailed by Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola, is the latest off West Ham's impressive conveyer belt following Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole.

But although he speaks with a London accent, Collison has previously reassured Wales of his international commitment.

"As soon as Flynny came, my mind was made up," Collison said in January.

"My Mum was very proud. She's been a massive part of my career. She's Welsh so I wanted to play for Wales."

Flynn added: "We're looking forward to an outstandingly bright international future for Jack with Wales.

"He has made a couple of senior international starts and he always looks forward to wearing the red shirt of Wales.

"I don't think Jack would be tempted as he can see the future is bright for Wales with all of the young talented players that are in and around the squad."



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see also
Wales rookies set for senior call
13 May 09 |  Fulham
Australian Williams snubs Wales
11 May 09 |  Welsh
Collison could return this season
13 Mar 09 |  West Ham
Zola praises 'veteran' Collison
01 Mar 09 |  Match of the Day
Young Collison hails Zola tuition
09 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Wales 0-1 Poland
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Denmark 0-1 Wales
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Germany 1-0 Wales
15 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Netherlands 2-0 Wales
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Iceland 0-1 Wales
28 May 08 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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