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Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Monday, 7 February 2011

Republic of Ireland v Wales (Wed)

Carling Nations Cup
Venue: Aviva Stadium Date: Tuesday, 8 February 2011 Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales & online, score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Sport website. Live on Sky Sports 1


James Collins
Defender James Collins will win his 38th cap against Republic of Ireland

James Collins will captain Wales in Gary Speed's first game as Welsh boss in their Carling Nations Cup opener against Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

The Aston Villa centre-back will lead Wales for the third time as previous skipper Bellamy relinquished the post and is rested for the trip to Dublin.

He and Ashley Williams have led Wales previously but Speed has chosen Collins as Williams does not start in Dublin.

Both Williams and Celtic's Joe Ledley do not start after playing on Sunday.

Stoke City defender Danny Collins will partner Villa namesake James in central defence with Blackpool right-back Neal Eardly - chosen ahead of usual right-back Chris Gunter - and left-back Sam Ricketts named in an all-Premier League Wales defence.

Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper Wayne Hennessey, another Premier League player, will start in Dublin.

Speed will adopt a three-man midfield of Norwich City's Andrew Crofts, in-form Leicester City man Andy King and anchored by Blackpool's David Vaughan.

Simon Church will lead Wales' attack against the Republic of Ireland with rookie Reading team-mate Hal Robson-Kanu and the experienced Rob Earnshaw alongside him.

Craig Bellamy and Gary Speed
Craig Bellamy and Gary Speed were team-mates with Wales and Newcastle

Swansea City centre-back Williams and midfielder Ledley are Wales regulars but Speed will rest them for Tuesday's clash as played just two days earlier in frantic derby fixtures.

Williams was on the losing side as Swansea lost 1-0 to Cardiff at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday while Ledley also played the full 90 minutes in Celtic's Scottish Cup draw at Old Firm rivals Rangers.

Cardiff City pair Aaron Ramsey and Craig Bellamy are not being considered at all for the same reason as Speed takes an understanding approach.

Bellamy, Cardiff's match-winner in their derby win over Championship promotion rivals Swansea, has a long-standing knee injury and cannot play twice in a week.

While 20-year-old playmaker Ramsey feels he is not ready to play two difficult games in two-and-a-half days after just recovering his match fitness following surgery to fix a horrific double leg break.

Ramsey has made just four starts since fracturing his tibia and fibula playing for parent club Arsenal after a challenge from Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross in February 2010.

But Ramsey and Gareth Bale, like Bellamy, were also in Welsh camp on Sunday despite being out of Tuesday's clash to provide moral support to Speed.

Collins, however, will lead Wales for Tuesday's fixture but new manager Speed will not name his full-time captain until before their next 2012 European qualifier with England in Cardiff on 26 March.

Bellamy quit as Wales skipper because he would not be able to be available consistently for international duty as he manages a long-standing knee injury which needed reconstructive surgery.

Collins, who will win his 38th cap against Ireland, first skippered Wales in their final 2010 World Cup qualifying win in Liechtenstein in September 2009 before leading Wales in their 1-0 defeat to Sweden in 2010.

Swans star Williams has also captained Wales, firstly as a stand-in for the injured Bellamy and Collins in a 3-0 friendly win over Scotland at the Cardiff City Stadium in November 2009.

And the Swansea City centre-back led a Wales team that included Collins in their last Euro 2012 qualifying double-header in defeats to Bulgaria and Switzerland in October.

Talisman Bellamy has also travelled to Dublin despite being unavailable to support Speed.

Gary Speed took over as Wales boss in December 2010
Gary Speed took over as full-time Wales boss in December 2010

Tottenham Hotspur full-back Bale (back), Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Dave Edwards (ankle), West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, West Ham United centre-back Danny Gabbidon (hamstring), Preston North End defender Craig Morgan (ankle) and strikers Steve Morison and Ched Evans are all out for Speed's first game in charge.

Swansea midfielder Joe Allen had been called up from the under-21s squad but suffered a calf injury in their derby defeat to Cardiff on Sunday.

Crystal Palace trio striker Jermaine Easter, goalkeeper Lewis Price and midfielder Andy Dorman have won 11th hour calls, as have defenders Darcy Blake and Lewin Nyatanga and striker Sam Vokes.

Defenders Ashley Williams and James Collins are the front-runners to succeed Bellamy - and will fight it out to lead Wales in Dublin, while Bale has also been mentioned among the favourites.

Speed takes a Welsh team with five defeats in their last six games to Dublin for his first game in charge since replacing John Toshack on a full-time basis.

The former Wales skipper is Wales' 16th manager and will hope to end a four-match winless Welsh run against the Republic of Ireland - their last win a 1-0 victory in February 1992 at the Royal Dublin Society when Mark Pembridge scored the winner.

Speed played in that friendly Dublin triumph, one his outfield record 85 Wales caps, and now takes Wales to open the 2011 Home Nations Cup - also including Northern Ireland and Scotland - 27 years after the Home Nations Championship was last played.

Wales, whose last of 12 victories in the Home Nations Championship was their shared win with England and Scotland in 1970, will also play Northern Ireland and Scotland in the first Home Nations Cup Championship in Dublin in May.


Republic of Ireland team to face Wales in Dublin on February 8:
S Given (Manchester City); J O'Shea (Manchester United), S St Ledger (Preston), Richard Dunne, Ciaran Clark (both Aston Villa); Seamus Coleman (Everton), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Paul Green (Derby) or Darron Gibson (Manchester United), Damien Duff (Fulham); Jonathan Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (Wolves).

Wales team to face Republic of Ireland in Dublin on February 8:
W Hennessey (Wolves); N Eardley (Blackpool), D Collins (Stoke), J Collins (Aston Villa), S Ricketts (Bolton); A Crofts (Norwich), A King (Leicester), D Vaughan (Blackpool); S Church (Reading), R Earnshaw (Nottingham Forest), H Robson-Kanu (Reading).
Substitutes: C Gunter (Nottingham Forest), J Easter (Crystal Palace), F Eastwood (Coventry), J Ledley (Celtic), A Williams (Swansea), A Dorman (Crystal Palace), D Blake (Cardiff), S Vokes (Wolves, on loan at Bristol City), L Nyatanga (Bristol City), J Brown (gk, Blackburn Rovers), L Price (gk, Crystal Palace)



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see also
Republic of Ireland 3-0 Wales
08 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Wales form annoys captain Collins
08 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Dutchman appointed Speed deputy
06 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Blackpool 1-3 West Ham
02 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Republic hit by more withdrawals
06 Feb 11 |  Football
Gabbidon out of Wales retirement
31 Jan 11 |  Welsh
No full-time Wales role for Giggs
31 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Southall tips Collins as captain
11 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Williams desires Wales captaincy
29 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Bellamy hands on Wales captaincy
26 Dec 10 |  Cardiff
Wales unveil Speed as new manager
14 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Ramsey has surgery on broken leg
28 Feb 10 |  Arsenal
Fixtures revealed for Nations Cup
01 Oct 10 |  Irish
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Welsh football history
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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