Nottm Forest's Rob Earnshaw chosen as Wales skipper

2011 CARLING NATIONS CUP - Wales v Scotland & Northern Ireland

Venue:
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Date:
Wednesday, 25 May - Friday, 27 May
Kick-offs:
1945 BST
Coverage:
Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website
Rob Earnshaw
Earnshaw has scored 14 goals in 52 games for Wales

Nottingham Forest striker Robert Earnshaw will captain Wales in their Carling Nations Cup match against Scotland on Wednesday night.

The 30-year old former Cardiff, West Brom and Norwich player will lead his country for the first time in Dublin.

Earnshaw will take the armband from regular skipper Aaron Ramsey, who is being rested along with a number of other Premier League players.

Ramsey is expected to return for Friday's game against Northern Ireland.

Earnshaw has won 52 caps for his country since making a goalscoring debut against Germany in May 2002.

Wales lost 3-0 against hosts the Republic of Ireland in the opening match of the Nations Cup in Ferbruary.

The game was Gary Speed's first match in charge since he succeeded John Toshack as national team manager last December.

Aston Villa defender James Collins is out of Wales' double-header with Scotland and Northern Ireland this week.

Collins, 27, has a groin strain and has been replaced by Adam Matthews, who is joining Celtic from Cardiff City.

Norwich midfielder Owain Tudur Jones has been called up to replace the injured David Edwards, of Wolverhampton.

Andy Dorman, Jermaine Easter and Craig Morgan were late additions last week.

Swansea's Ashley Williams and Joe Allen and Reading's Simon Church and Hal Robson-Kanu will be missing when Wales play twice in three days.

They will be preparing for the Championship play-off final on 30 May.

Swansea's Neil Taylor will be with Wales rather than at Wembley, though, because the left-back is suspended for the final having been sent off in the first-leg of the play-off semi-final aggregate win over Nottingham Forest.

Wales manager Gary Speed also has Cardiff City duo Darcy Blake and Craig Bellamy and Forest pair Chris Gunter and Rob Earnshaw in his squad following the play-off semi-finals.

Striker Bellamy is unlikely to play any part in the double-header on 25 and 27 May, though, having missed the second leg of Cardiff's defeat by Reading with a hamstring injury.

Speed, seaching for his first win at the helm, is fearing further injury withdrawals following Sunday's final round of Premier League games.

Collins' club told Wales he had to undergo the scan and later confirmed his inability to travel with the squad on Tuesday.

Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley, Sheffield United striker Ched Evans and stand-by duo Christian Ribiero and Brian Stock have already been forced to withdraw because of injury from the original squad.

Striker Easter, who has failed to score in nine Wales appearances, has scored only five times this season while midfielder Dorman, who hopes to win his second cap, has played only 11 minutes of competitive football since 15 January in a 1-1 draw at Hull.

Midfielder Jones, who has won four caps, has made only two appearances for Norwich this season. He spent the first part of the season on loan at Yeovil, before moving on loan to Brentford for three months in January.

West Ham United midfielder Jack Collison is set to return to international duty for the first time since the 1-0 friendly defeat by Sweden in March 2010 after recovering from a serious knee injury.

The 22-year-old made his Hammers return on 7 May as a second-half substitute in their 1-1 draw with Blackburn before starting in their 3-2 defeat at Wigan.

"Jack will be delighted to be in the squad, I spoke to Jack last week and he played a few reserve games," said Speed.

"He is really coming on well and he came on at the weekend which is great for everyone.

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Nations Cup schedule unfair - Speed

"We will be speaking to West Ham as it is a case of managing Jack as he has been out for a long time and making sure we do what is best for him."

David Cotterill has earned a recall after impressing Speed during his loan spell from Swansea at Portsmouth.

That loan agreement has now ended, but Swansea do not intend to use the winger in the play-off final.

It will be a welcome return for Cotterill, who last played in the 5-1 win against Luxembourg last August - a game in which he scored.

Gareth Bale's ankle injury had already ruled him out, while Sam Ricketts (Achilles) and Andrew Crofts (dislocated thumb) are also out.

Wales lost 3-0 to the Republic of Ireland in the opening game of the Carling Nations Cup in February while Scotland beat Northern Ireland by the same scoreline.

The final round of matches all take place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin next week, with the first game between the Republic and Northern Ireland on 24 May.

Wales' games against Scotland and Northern Ireland follow, before the inaugural competition ends with the Republic facing Scotland on 29 May.

Wales squad: Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion), Lewis Price (Crystal Palace); Darcy Blake (Cardiff City), Danny Collins (Stoke City), Adam Matthews (Cardiff City), Neal Eardley (Blackpool), Danny Gabbidon (West Ham United), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest), Lewin Nyatanga (Bristol City), Craig Morgan (Preston North End), Neil Taylor (Swansea City); Jack Collison (West Ham United), David Cotterill (Swansea City), Owain Tudur Jones (Norwich City), Andy King (Leicester City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal, capt), David Vaughan (Blackpool), Andy Dorman (Crystal Palace), Owain Tudur Jones (Norwich City); Jermaine Easter (Crystal Palace), Craig Bellamy (Manchester City, on loan Cardiff City), Rob Earnshaw (Nottingham Forest), Freddie Eastwood (Coventry City), Steve Morison (Millwall), Sam Vokes (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

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