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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Wales players tuning up for England game

2012 European Championship qualifying Group G - Wales v England
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 26 March Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: Full coverage on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Sport website. Live on Sky Sports 1


Steve Morison
Steve Morison started his career at Northampton Town at the age of 16

Wales striker Steve Morison claims new manager Gary Speed is calling the tune both on and off the field.

Londoner Morison is among the non-Welsh speaking players learning the national anthem ahead of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against England.

"I'm learning it the phonetic way, singing the words as I see them and I'm giving it a good go," said Morison.

The 27-year-old Millwall forward is hoping to impress enough to get into Speed's side.

Wales boss Speed, in charge for his first competitive game, will name his side and captain for the Millennium Stadium clash later this week.

But it is not just football ability Speed has been testing among the players ahead of the big game - it's their knowledge of the national anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.

Morison, having missed February's 3-0 defeat by the Republic of Ireland, is one of a number of players sampling the Speed regime for the first time.

Morison, who qualifies for Wales through a Tredegar-born grandparent, is one of the players who has had to quickly learn the Welsh version of Land of my Fathers.

"We watched the rugby players do it against England - it gets the crowd right behind you and it's about getting the passion, the Welshness, the belief back."

England are the ones that should be nervous - they don't know what to expect from us

Steve Morison

Morison has made a remarkable rise to international football after Northampton sold him to non-League Bishop's Stortford in 2004 and he went on to impress with them and Stevenage before earning a move back into the Football League with Millwall.

He then caught the eye during the Lions' successful League One promotion campaign in 2010 and was called up by former Wales boss John Toshack.

That meant turning his back on the country of his birth but it was an opportunity that could not be turned down.

"I never dreamt of playing international football," revealed Morison, who is still awaiting his first Wales goal after four appearances.

"I just wanted to play professional football but it's been a fairytale time, the last 18 months to two years, and to score against England would be a great end to the story.

"England are the ones that should be nervous - they don't know what to expect from us, they don't know me from Adam - if I am playing.

"They will be aware of people like Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley but I will be a new test for them."


Wales squad to face England: W Hennessey (Wolves), B Myhill (West Brom), L Price (Crystal Palace), D Collins (Stoke City), J Collins (Aston Villa), N Eardley (Blackpool), D Gabbidon (West Ham), C Gunter (N Forest), L Nyatanga (Bristol C), N Taylor (Swansea), A Williams (Swansea), J Allen (Swansea), G Bale (Tottenham), A Crofts (Norwich), A King (Leicester), J Ledley (Celtic), A Ramsey (Arsenal), D Vaughan (Blackpool), C Bellamy (Cardiff), S Church (Reading), S Vokes (Wolves, on loan at Sheff Utd), C Evans (Sheff Utd), F Eastwood (Coventry), S Morison (Millwall), H Robson-Kanu (Reading).



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see also
Wales can beat England, says Bale
23 Mar 11 |  Welsh
Crowd can help Wales win - Rush
22 Mar 11 |  Welsh
Terry returns as England captain
20 Mar 11 |  Football
Why Wales hold out Wembley hope
04 Sep 11 |  Welsh
Ferdinand set to miss England tie
13 Mar 11 |  Football


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