Champions League commitments mean Bale misses Wales v Mexico friendly

Giggs names young Wales squad for mexico friendly

Image by Ian Fitzell

by Julie Kissick

REAL Madrid superstar Gareth Bale will miss Ryan Giggs’ third game in charge of Wales because of his side’s UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool.

Bale is targeting his fourth Champions League title in Kiev days before Wales face Mexico in Pasadena, California.

Liverpool duo Ben Woodburn and Danny Ward will also be absent because of the match, while Stoke’s Joe Allen has a foot injury.

Giggs named eight uncapped players in his 32-man squad, including seven from Rob Page’s U21 side.

“I want the best players, obviously, to be with us. But I also want players to experience Champions League finals,” said Giggs.

“Obviously Gareth’s done it before – and to win a fourth Champions League would be an unbelievable achievement – and you want to see your players do well.

“On the downside, you won’t be able to perhaps use them during the trip. So it’s a difficult one for me as a manager, but then it also gives an opportunity for other players.”

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Senior internationals Aaron Ramsey, who Giggs described as having ‘a fantastic season’, Joe Ledley and Hal Robson-Kanu all return.

The squad will be involved in an open training session at the Racecourse, Wrexham next Monday (21) before flying to California to face Mexico the following Monday. (Kick-off is 02:00 BST on Tuesday, 29 May.)

Wales will also be without Aston Villa’s Neil Taylor, who is likely to be in action in the Championship play-off final against Fulham on May 26 at Wembley.

His team-mate James Chester confirmed last month that he had ruled himself out of the Mexico game as he’s getting married at the end of May.

Swansea midfielder Dan James, Cardiff defender Cameron Coxe and Manchester City striker Matthew Smith are among those named in the senior squad for the first time.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Chris Maxwell (Preston North End), Adam Davies (Barnsley), Luke Pilling (Tranmere Rovers)

Defenders: Ashley Williams (Everton), Ashley Richards (Cardiff City), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Gunter (Reading), Declan John (Rangers), Connor Roberts (Swansea City), Christopher Mepham (Brentford), Regan Poole (Manchester United), Joe Rodon (Swansea City), Adam Matthews (Sunderland), Cameron Coxe (Cardiff City), Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers)

Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Joe Ledley (Derby County), Dan James (Swansea City), George Thomas (Leicester City), George Williams (St Johnstone, on loan from Fulham), Matthew Smith (Manchester City), Lee Evans (Sheffield United), Andy King (Leicester City), Ryan Hedges (Barnsley), Marley Watkins (Norwich City)

Forwards: Tom Lawrence (Derby County), Harry Wilson (Liverpool), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley), David Brooks (Sheffield United), Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion)

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