Collison ready for Russia
Midfielder Jack Collison will play for Wales against Russia next week, despite the death of his father.
Last Updated: 01/09/09 12:40pm
West Ham midfielder Jack Collison will play for Wales against Russia next week, despite the recent death of his father.
The 20-year-old has also been included in Brian Flynn's Under-21 squad for their European Championship qualifier against Italy on Friday, but it is expected he will miss out on that game to attend his father's funeral.
Collison is not currently obliged to play for Wales, having only collected his six caps so far in friendly matches, and the Watford-born youngster is also qualified for England.
But John Toshack is expected to name Collison in the squad for the World Cup qualifier against Russia, despite his family bereavement.
Collison has turned out for West Ham twice since the death of his father in a motorway accident, against Millwall and Blackburn, and the midfielder is expected to pledge his future to Wales.
A Football Association Wales spokesman said: "There has been a lot of conspiracy theories that Jack has avoided competitive internationals to keep his options open.
"But the fact that he has turned up to train with the Under-21s and wants to
play against Russia says everything about his commitment to Wales.
"We were all deeply upset for him after his father's death, and he will get
all the support and comradeship he needs when he is with the Wales squad and we are delighted that he has made it clear he wants to play against Russia."
Wales boss Toshack is also expected to call up Craig Bellamy and Jason Koumas to his squad, as the pair have returned to full fitness.