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Aaron Ramsey in Wales squad for World Cup qualifiers; Ryan Giggs not part of set-up as Robert Page takes temporary charge

Wales face Belgium and Czech Republic in World Cup qualifiers in March but will be without Ryan Giggs, who was arrested on suspicion of assault in November; he denies the allegation and has had his bail extended until May 1

Juventus player Aaron Ramsey during a training session at JTC on March 12, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)
Image: Aaron Ramsey will be assessed by Wales' medical staff after missing Juventus' game on Sunday night

Aaron Ramsey has been included in Wales' squad for World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and the Czech Republic despite concerns over a thigh injury.

The midfielder missed Juventus' 3-1 victory over Cagliari on Sunday night, with the Serie A team confirming on Saturday that Ramsey's absence was down to a "low-grade lesion" in his left thigh.

Ramsey is set to be assessed by Wales' medical team ahead of the trip to Belgium on March 24, live on Sky Sports Main Event, and caretaker boss Robert Page says they are in talks with Juventus over his availability.

Live World Cup Qualifier

"We've got to be sympathetic in how we deal with it and communication between ourselves and the club is imperative," said Page.

"We'll have dialogue with the club and see where we're at with it.

"We'll have conversations and if we feel it's doable to get him in and in contention for parts of these games then we'll see.

"But we have to respect that Juventus might not want to risk him and get his recovery done there.

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"Our medical team will take no chances if he's not going to be fit, but we'll see if we can get him over and have a look."

Joe Allen and Wayne Hennessey have been recalled after recovering from injuries, while Tottenham trio Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Joe Rodon have all been included in Monday's squad named by Page.

Page has been put in caretaker charge of the team after manager Ryan Giggs was arrested and bailed in November following a reported row with his "on-off girlfriend" Kate Greville.

Giggs' bail was extended until May 1 following an allegation of assault, which he denies. The 47-year-old also missed games against the United States, the Republic of Ireland and Finland following his arrest four months ago.

AP Wales coach Ryan Giggs
Image: Ryan Giggs will miss Wales' next three games

There is no place for David Brooks who is sidelined with an ankle problem, while Newport goalkeeper Tom King is the only uncapped member of the squad.

Page said Giggs will still have an input on the team, as was the case during the games he missed last year.

"It's the same as November, exactly the same. No different," he said. "I'm very proud again to be leading the boys out but it's business as usual and that's our main focus.

"[Giggs will have an input] like he does every other camp. All the staff will have an input so we'll all gather and have conversations about the squad, about the opposition and the analysis.

Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring second for Spurs (AP)
Image: Gareth Bale has been included in the squad along with Spurs team-mates Ben Davies and Joe Rodon

"Yes, I'm here as the front man at the minute but it will be no different to what it was in November; he will have an input, and rightly so."

Page said there has been no talk that he will be the man to lead Wales in the Euros amidst the uncertainty over Giggs' future in the job.

"No, not at all," he said. "We're just taking each camp as it comes. It's difficult for Ryan at the minute, but we've just got to make sure the focus in on the players, we've just got to stay focussed on the job at hand.

"It's an exciting few months that we've got coming up and we just want to look forward to the next game which is Belgium away."

Robert Page, Coach of Wales gives instructions to his side during the international friendly match between Wales and the USA at Liberty Stadium on November 12, 2020 in Swansea, Wales. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Image: Robert Page has been put in caretaker charge of the team in the absence of Ryan Giggs

On Ramsey's thigh issue, Page added: "That's still ongoing; we're still investigating that. We've obviously named him in the squad because he's a big part of what we want to do and how we play.

"Of course we want him in the squad, we would like to get him in camp and have eyes on him and assess him ourselves.

"That's just an ongoing situation at the minute that we're going to be assessing daily, but fingers crossed we'll have him when we meet up on Sunday."

Following the match against Belgium, Wales face Mexico at the Cardiff City Stadium in a friendly on March 27, before taking on the Czech Republic on March 30.

Wales squad

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Daniel Ward, Adam Davies, Tom King

Defenders: Chris Gunter, Ben Davies, Connor Roberts, Ethan Ampadu, Chris Mepham, Tom Lockyer, Joe Rodon, James Lawrence, Neco Williams, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Ben Cabango

Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Jonathan Williams, Harry Wilson, Daniel James, Matthew Smith, Joe Morrell, Dylan Levitt, Brennan Johnson, Josh Sheehan

Forwards: Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu, Tom Lawrence, Kieffer Moore, Tyler Roberts, Rabbi Matondo

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