wales

Defensive duo Rhys Norrington-Davies and Tom Lockyer have withdrawn from the Wales squad for their World Cup Qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Estonia.

Sheffield United’s Norrington-Davies and Lockyer of Luton have been replaced by Will Vaulks of Cardiff and Swansea’s Ben Cabango.

Wales face the Czechs in Prague on Friday before heading to Tallinn to take on Estonia next Monday, with both games live on Sky Sports.

Wales will be without Gareth Bale for both matches, with the Real Madrid forward ruled out with a significant hamstring tear.

The 32-year-old was due to win his 100th cap against the Czechs and his absence for October’s double-header deals a serious blow to Wales’ qualification hopes for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Wales boss Robert Page is confident Bale will be fit for November’s closing two World Cup Qualifiers, but said: “You grade hamstring injuries from one to four and his is nearer the four.

“So it’s quite a significant hamstring tear. We’ve been in close contact with him to see how it’s progressing but this camp has come too soon for him.

“Originally it might have been progressing into November’s camp, that’s the significance of the injury.

“Thankfully he’s recovering better than anticipated. We’re pretty certain we’ll have him for November.”

Wales bosses in discussions over Principality Stadium use
Welsh football bosses are to explore the idea of playing games at the Principality Stadium again.

Wales have played only once at the 74,500-capacity stadium since 2011 – a high-profile friendly against former European and world champions Spain in October 2018.

The 33,280-capacity Cardiff City Stadium has proved a popular and successful base for the men’s national team over the last decade, with Wales having qualified for the European Championship finals in 2016 and 2020.

“We have an agreement with Cardiff City Stadium and everyone really likes going there,” Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney told the PA news agency.

“But we’ll actually speak to the Welsh Rugby Union late next week. Absolutely we’re in discussions with them.

“Just to make sure that if a match comes that, for whatever reason, Cardiff City Stadium is not available.

“Or if there’s a real big feeling that people want to go to the Principality Stadium.”

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