Hal Robson-Kanu dismisses Euro 2016 fitness fears

Hal Robson-Kanu will be a clubless player during Euro 2016
Image: Hal Robson-Kanu insists he will be fit for Wales' first game next month

Wales striker Hal Robson-Kanu has given his country a massive boost by declaring he will be fit for their Euro 2016 Group B opener against with Slovakia in Bordeaux on June 11

Robson-Kanu was named in Chris Coleman's 23-man squad for the finals despite suffering an ankle injury which has ruled him out of Sunday's friendly with Sweden in Stockholm.

It was feared that the injury was worse than first thought, and Bristol City youngster Wes Burns will travel to France next week as cover for Robson-Kanu.

Wales manager Chris Coleman says he's managed to select a well-balanced squad for Euro 2016.

Coleman has until the eve of the tournament to change the make-up of his squad on medical grounds, but Robson-Kanu has insisted he will be ready for the Group B opener.

"I'm fit and well," he said. "It's a bit of a knock, but that's standard in competition sport. I'm feeling good and I'll be 100 per cent come the first game.

"I was on the grass today and I'll be training again tomorrow building up to the first game."

Robson-Kanu's forward play was a big part of Wales' success in qualification, his selfless running allowing space for Gareth Bale to decide matches with his brilliance.

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Bale scored seven times as Wales ended a 58-year wait for qualification, and getting out of a group containing England, Slovakia and Russia is now the first objective.

Hal Robson-Kanu has formed a good partnership with Gareth Bale
Image: Robson-Kanu has formed a good partnership with Gareth Bale

"I don't think anyone expected us to qualify," said Robson-Kanu. "But we beat Belgium last summer - one of the best teams in the world - and we know the quality we have as a group.

"We won't be underestimating anyone, but we believe we can get out of the group and, if we apply ourselves, who knows what can happen?

"We're definitely looking not just to take part, we want to achieve something."

London-born Robson-Kanu was capped by England at Under-19 and Under-20 level before switching allegiance to the land of his grandmother, so the 27-year-old is best qualified to know more than most about the pressure England will be under when they meet Wales in Lens on June 16.

"I think everyone feels the expectation that England have," said Robson-Kanu. "People expect them to go all the way, and if they don't it's a disappointment.

Hal Robson-Kanu of Reading and James McClean of West Bromwich Albion compete for the ball during the FA Cup fifth round match
Image: Hal Robson-Kanu featured for Reading but will hope a good Euro 2016 with Wales campaign will lead to a new club

"That's pressure, and they have to deal with that. People will see us as underdogs, but we've always said that we're pretty focused on going there and doing something special.

"It's a new experience, even for Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, because we've not qualified as a nation in our lifetime. But we've all played in massive-pressure environments and won competitions.

"I wouldn't like to play us because of our threats, being hard to break down and having a world-class player in Gareth.

"We've shown our quality throughout the campaign and we know what's required."

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