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Ramsey and Hennessey absent from Cymru squad for June friendlies

Cymru will be without their captain, Aaron Ramsey, for the friendlies against Gibraltar on Thursday, 6 June, and Slovakia three days later.

The 33-year-old midfielder has had an injury-plagued season, playing just 13 times for Cardiff City in 2023-24 and featuring only twice during Wales’ European Championship qualifying campaign.

Veteran goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is also missing from the 25-man squad due to what Wales manager Rob Page describes as a “significant injury.”

With Ramsey, who has scored 21 goals in 84 appearances for Wales, focusing on regaining his fitness, Page has included five uncapped players in the squad. Among them is Liverpool forward Lewis Koumas, who is set to follow in the footsteps of his father, Jason, by becoming a full Wales international. Additionally, 17-year-old Leeds United midfielder Charlie Crew has been called up.

Other uncapped players include Coventry City’s Jay Dasilva, defender Fin Stevens—who has impressed on loan at Oxford United from Brentford—and Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Tom King. King, along with Danny Ward and Adam Davies, has been selected in the absence of Hennessey.

Hennessey, 37, has earned 109 caps and has been a regular for Wales since his debut in 2007. He has been part of three major tournament squads but did not feature for Nottingham Forest this past season.

Oxford forward Mark Harris, despite his 19 goals contributing to their promotion to the Championship via the play-offs, has not been included.

Leeds winger Dan James is part of the squad despite suffering a head injury in their Championship play-off defeat by Southampton last weekend. Similarly, Tottenham defender Ben Davies is named despite missing the end of the season with a calf injury.

Midfielder David Brooks, who was injured in the Championship play-off final, has not been included. Also missing due to injury are Harry Wilson, Neco Williams, Morgan Fox, and Dylan Levitt.

Earlier this month, Page hinted that he would leave Ramsey out to allow him to focus on getting fit for next season. “He is our captain at this moment in time. He wants to get his body into a position where he is fit and can cope with the demands of Championship football, which is not easy,” Page told BBC Wales Sport. “If he can do that, I have no doubt he will carry on.”

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The two friendlies are part of Wales’ preparations for their opening Nations League fixture at home against Turkey on Friday, 6 September. They will then travel to face Montenegro on 9 September.

Cymru will play away in Iceland on Friday, 11 October, with the reverse fixture against Montenegro the following Monday. Page’s side will then travel to Turkey on Saturday, 16 November, before concluding the group at home against Iceland on Tuesday, 19 November.

Cymru Squad

Goalkeepers: Danny Ward (Leicester City), Adam Davies (Sheffield United), Tom King (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Defenders: Connor Roberts (Leeds United – on loan from Burnley), Fin Stevens (Oxford United – on loan from Brentford), Joe Rodon (Leeds United – on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Ben Cabango (Swansea City), Joe Low (Wycombe Wanderers), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Jay Dasilva (Coventry City).

Midfielders: Ethan Ampadu (Leeds United), Jordan James (Birmingham City), Josh Sheehan (Bolton Wanderers), Charlie Savage (Reading), Charlie Crew (Leeds United), Brennan Johnson (Tottenham Hotspur), Wes Burns (Ipswich Town), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), Daniel James (Leeds United), Rabbi Matondo (Rangers).

Forwards: Nathan Broadhead (Ipswich Town), Kieffer Moore (Ipswich Town – on loan from Bournemouth), Liam Cullen (Swansea City), Lewis Koumas (Liverpool).