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Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Wales boss Gary Speed open to Home Nations return

Wales manager Gary Speed
Gary Speed was appointed new Wales manager in December 2010

New Wales manager Gary Speed says he would welcome a return of the British Home Championships.

But he warned that it may not be viable to hold the event - which also involves England, Scotland and Northern Ireland - on a regular basis.

"There's varying views on it - some people say they don't want it, some say they do want it," said Speed.

"Whether it's viable to do it year in year out I'm not sure. A one-off here and there would be nice."

The return of the championship comes as part of sponsorship deals between car maker Vauxhall and the associations of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The contest, involving those nations, ran from 1884 to 1984, before being scrapped as England and Scotland lost interest - 100 years after the first championship took place.

It is understood the car giant had been keen to get the Home International tournament in place for 2011/12 season.

But the English FA told BBC Sport it is investigating the proposal as part of its 150th anniversary in 2013, but does not want it to take place regularly.

"There's lots of meaningless friendlies that have come in for some stick over the past few years and I think these games will mean a little bit more," added Speed, who was appointed last month.

"To play against your Englands and Scotlands is great for Wales and it's something I grew up watching.

New Wales era excites Speed

"We're obviously in the Carling Nations with Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic [of Ireland] which is something I'm really looking forward to.

"But I think it's a process where we'll see how it goes."

Wales open their Carling Nations tournament on Tuesday 8 February away to Republic of Ireland.

They then face England in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Saturday, 26 March where they will be hoping to pick up their first points after losing the opening three games.

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see also
New Wales era excites Speed
13 Jan 11 |  Welsh
FAW in Vauxhall sponsorship deal
12 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Home nation games to be 'one-off'
11 Jan 11 |  Football
Who would a home championship benefit?
11 Jan 11 |  Football
Home Championship set to return
10 Jan 11 |  Football
Bellamy no longer Wales captain
06 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Wales unveil Speed as new manager
14 Dec 10 |  Welsh

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