Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross explains Wales rebuff

By Peter ShuttleworthBBC Sport Wales
Ryan Shawcross
Shawcross has been named in England squads but has not been capped

Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross says he will not consider playing for Wales and will continue to target a call-up to the England side.

The Chester-born 23-year-old was raised in Flintshire and represented Welsh Schoolboys.

Fifa once ruled Shawcross could not play for Wales as he was born in England and had no Welsh ancestry.

That ruling was changed in 2009 but the Potters captain told BBC Sport: "I've not considered Wales."

The regulation change allowed any player from Great Britain or Northern Ireland to play for any of the home nations as long as he has spent five years of compulsory education in that country.

Shawcross grew up in Buckley in north Wales, but once he turned 16 he could no longer be a Wales Schoolboy international so entered the English system.

He earned his only England call-up for the friendly with Egypt in February 2010 but did not feature in the game.

"I have spoken to [Wales manager] Gary Speed a couple of times and made my plans clear," said the former Manchester United man.

"He is a very good, young manager and I have a lot of respect for him.

"But I made my decision a long time ago when the current rule wasn't in place that I could play for Wales.

"Obviously he wants me to play for Wales but I made a decision and I'm going to stick with it. Hopefully I can prove I am good enough to get into the England team.

"I'm not in the England team at the moment so I don't think I'm too wanted there. It is good Wales want me but this rule wasn't in place when I made my decision.

"My decision might have been different if the current rule was in place at the time but these things happen."

Shawcross would certainly have boosted Wales' centre-back options if he agreed to play for Speed's team, as he would be vying with James Collins, Ashley Williams, Danny Gabbidon and Lewin Nyatanga for a starting place.

But he will bid to break into an England defensive set-up that includes John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Dawson, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill and Joleon Lescott.

"It is tough to get in as there are a lot of world-class players in my position," added Shawcross.

"But if I play well for Stoke in Europe and prove I can play on the big stage that will hopefully influence the manager to pick me.

"It will be difficult to get into the squad for the Holland game in August, so I'll be looking to get into the squad after that."

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