Rubin Colwill made six appearances for Cardiff City during the 2020-21 Championship campaignUncapped Cardiff City youngster Rubin Colwill is the surprise inclusion in Wales’ 26-man squad for Euro 2020.
Attacking midfielder Colwill, who only made his Cardiff debut in February, has been part of Wales’ training squad preparing for the finals.
The 19-year-old has been selected ahead of fellow forwards Tom Lawrence, Rabbi Matondo and Brennan Johnson.
“He’s been a breath of fresh air since he’s come in,” caretaker manager Robert Page said of Colwill.
“He really impressed me. He’s got presence, he’s got something we have not got in the middle of the park as well.
“He can play off the right, play as a 10 and he can play in midfield so that’s a bonus when we were looking to pick a squad.
“He blew us all away with how he was and how he conducted himself. He’s a top professional already and a great lad to have around the place.”
Wales begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Switzerland in Baku on 12 June and also face Turkey and Italy.
Captain Gareth Bale is the headline name in a squad which will be managed by Page, in the continued absence of Ryan Giggs.
Colwill takes Wales call-up ‘in his stride’Lawrence’s ‘hectic’ journey to Euros Bale, who spent this season on loan at Tottenham from Real Madrid, was one of Wales’ stars at Euro 2016, when under Chris Coleman they reached the semi-finals in France.
Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Wayne Hennessey, Ben Davies, Jonny Williams, Danny Ward and Chris Gunter, who has won 100 caps, are also included.
“We’d love to replicate what we did at Euro 2016 but we are realistic – it’s a different team, a different tournament,” captain Bale said.
“It will be difficult but we have confidence in our own ability and we’ll be doing everything we can to make it as much of a success as possible.”
Tottenham defender Davies missed the end of the Premier League season after suffering a calf injury in March, while the versatile Ethan Ampadu has also been included in the squad despite missing the end of his loan spell at Sheffield United because of a pelvic problem.
After Switzerland, Wales face Turkey in Baku on 16 June before completing the group stage with a game against Italy in Rome on 20 June.
Colwill’s inclusion is the major surprise in Page’s squad and marks a rapid rise for the attacking midfielder.
Having been at Cardiff since he was eight years old, he progressed full-time to the Bluebirds’ under-23 squad in July 2020 and was given his full debut by manager Mick McCarthy in the 3-1 Championship win over Coventry in February.
The Neath-born player earned his first call-up to Wales’ under-21 squad the following month and came on as a substitute to win his first cap in a 2-1 friendly defeat against the Republic of Ireland.
Robert Page has been part of the senior side’s coaching team since August 2019Colwill had been part of a 28-man training camp in Portugal, which veteran forward Hal Robson-Kanu had been left out of, while Cardiff midfielder Will Vaulks was again omitted.
Luton Town defender Tom Lockyer was also part of the training squad but, having missed the end of the season after having ankle surgery in April, he has not been included in the final squad with Newport County midfielder Josh Sheehan also missing out.
“I’ve had to make some tough decisions and there’s been some disappointed people around leaving the camp, which is not easy,” Page added.
“I said to the group after that they were the 26 lucky ones. We’ve got such a good group and they’re really tight together.
“If I could have taken 31 then I would have taken everyone because they’re all good characters.
“But that’s football unfortunately – we have to make these decisions and move forward.”
Page also said he had spoken personally to Sheehan and Newport team-mate Tom King, with the club’s manager Mike Flynn having previously questioned the timing of the squad announcement just hours before the club’s League Two play-off final at Wembley.
“I was respectful to the club, to the manager and both players,” Page told BBC Wales.
“I spoke to both players on Saturday, they were really appreciative of the phone call and there were no problems with that and I spoke to the manager who was great with it as well, so there were no issues at all.”
Wales face world champions France in a friendly in Nice on Wednesday, 2 June before hosting Albania at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, 5 June – their final game before the finals.
Wales squad for Euro 2020Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Danny Ward (Leicester City), Adam Davies (Stoke City).
Defenders: Chris Gunter (Charlton Athletic), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Connor Roberts (Swansea City), Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea), Chris Mepham (AFC Bournemouth), Joe Rodon (Tottenham Hotspur), James Lawrence (St Pauli), Neco Williams (Liverpool), Rhys Norrington-Davies (Sheffield United), Ben Cabango (Swansea City).
Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Juventus), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Jonny Williams (Cardiff City), Harry Wilson (Liverpool), Daniel James (Manchester United), David Brooks (AFC Bournemouth), Joe Morrell (Luton Town), Matt Smith (Manchester City), Dylan Levitt (Manchester United), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City).
Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City), Tyler Roberts (Leeds United).
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