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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 8, 2008

Earnshaw recalled to Wales squad by Toshack

Robert Earnshaw has been recalled to the Wales squad by John Toshack after a six-month exile.

Toshack has recalled the striker for the friendly with Georgia at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on August 20 after Earnshaw had not been selected for the previous three matches against Luxembourg, Iceland and Holland.

Earnshaw's form and attitude had been a major doubt for Toshack, as the former Cardiff man's unhappy spell at Derby was coming to an end.

The 27-year-old, with 39 caps, has now moved to Nottingham Forest and Toshack hopes that transfer will give him a new lease of life.

Toshack has selected a 19-man squad for the game - Wales' last warm-up international before their World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Russia next month.

He has not included any of the 28 under-21 players named by coach Brian Flynn earlier in the week for their crucial UEFA championship qualifier against Romania at Wrexham the same night.

That means senior squad players like Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale, Wayne Hennessey and Chris Gunter - who would certainly have played against Georgia - have been left to concentrate on the under-21 game, where victory would send Wales into the play-offs in November for next summer's finals in Sweden.

Wales are also without skipper Craig Bellamy for the Georgia game, the West Ham forward being out for a month with a hamstring strain.

Derby defender Lewin Nyatanga is also out with a knee problem.

Also back in the fold is Cardiff midfielder Paul Parry, who has not played for his country in 18 months for personal reasons.

Wrexham defender Steve Evans also holds his place. If he plays against Georgia he will be the first non-league player to figure in a senior Wales international since 1930.

Wales squad for friendly with Georgia at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on August 20:

Toshack admits he is 'worried' about the fitness problems captain Craig Bellamy faces

Toshack is also without Derby's Lewin Nyatanga, who has suffered a knee injury in pre-season.

Toshack said: 'The injuries to Craig and Lewin are a real worry for us this close to the qualifiers. Craig is a very important player for us while Lewin has become a reliable defender.

'It is more worrying because we also look likely to be without central defenders James Collins and Danny Gabbidon.'

Collins is back in training at West Ham after a cruciate knee ligament operation and should be available for the qualifiers in October against Liechtenstein and Germany.

But although Gabbidon has had intensive treatment on groin and back problems during the summer, his progress has not been as encouraging.

Toshack added: 'The news on James is encouraging, he may even be available next month. I think we will have to wait a little longer for Danny.'

Toshack made it clear that for this one week, Wales' under-21s are more important to him.

He said: 'The game in Wrexham for the under-21s takes centre stage, it would be a huge boost for Welsh football if they could qualify for Sweden, so Brian can have anyone he wants to boosts his squad.

'Some of the players in Brian's squad who he decides not to use, will come back to the senior squad for the Georgia game.'

Toshack now has the opportunity to look at several of his fringe players ahead of the World Cup games, with midfielder David Vaughan now back home after a difficult spell with Real Sociedad.

The former Crewe man has now joined Blackpool and has the chance to re-establish himself in Toshack's plans.

Striker Freddy Eastwood will also relish his call-up, having frequently been involved in the squad last season while being out in the cold at his former club, Wolves. A move to Coventry should at least give him regular club football.

Toshack added: 'This game gives me a chance to look at other candidates for starting spots come the World Cup ties.

'I do not look upon this game as a rehearsal for the World Cup games - we need to see who arrives on the Monday before the Azerbaijan match before we can make any decisions.'

Myhill (Hull), Price (Derby), S Evans (Wrexham), Morgan (Peterborough), Ricketts (Hull), A Williams (Swansea), Crofts (Gillingham), A Davies (Nottingham F), S Davies (Fulham), Fletcher (Crystal Palace), Tudur Jones (Swansea), Koumas (Wigan), Parry (Cardiff), Robinson (Toronto), Stock (Doncaster), Vaughan (Blackpool), Earnshaw (Nottingham F), Easter (Plymouth), Eastwood (Coventry).

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