Tag Archives: dragons

Welsh fly-half Ceri Sweeney will join Exeter at the end of the season

Sweeney to swap Cardiff for Exeter in bid to make his mark on Premiership

Mike Dawes


10:36 GMT, 10 March 2013



10:36 GMT, 10 March 2013

Former Wales fly-half Ceri Sweeney will join Exeter at the end of the season, his current club Cardiff Blues have announced.

Sweeney has made over 100 appearances since joining the Blues from Newport Gwent Dragons in the summer of 2008, guiding them to the EDF Energy Cup in 2009 and the Amlin Challenge Cup the following year.

'I've really enjoyed my time with the Blues, they are a fantastic club and the supporters have been outstanding,' he said.

Talent: Ceri Sweeney played in the 2003 World Cup for Wales

Talent: Ceri Sweeney played in the 2003 World Cup for Wales

'For me, it's my home region and with the young players they have coming through the ranks, the future of the club certainly looks very bright.'

The 33-year-old will bring a wealth of experience with him to Sandy Park.

He made his debut for Wales in the 2003 Six Nations against England and also featured in two World Cups, winning a total of 35 caps for his club – the last of them in 2007.

Key man: Sweeney won 35 caps for his country in his international career

Key man: Sweeney won 35 caps for his country in his international career

Sweeney is now excited to make his mark in the Aviva Premiership.

'Exeter are a fantastic club and as soon as I heard they were interested in me, I was keen to talk to them and have a look around the place,' he added.

'Like a lot of people, I've watched how they have risen over the last few years and how they've made a real name for themselves, not just in the Premiership, but in Europe as well.

Longevity: Only the career of Stephen Jones prevented him from more caps

Longevity: Only the career of Stephen Jones prevented him from more caps

'It's an exciting move for me and my young family and it's a fresh challenge.

'I know it will be the first time I've played club rugby outside of Wales, but the thought of testing myself in the Premiership is something I'm really keen to do.'

Sunderland to consider loan move out Ji-Dong Won, the first hero of 2012

Whatever happened to Sunderland's first hero of 2012, Ji the City slayer



22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Ji Dong-won may have been forgiven for believing that his dramatic late winner against Manchester City would kick-start his Sunderland career.

But while Martin O’Neill leapt high into the air when the South Korea striker bundled the ball round Joe Hart on the first day of 2012, the Sunderland manager has barely played him since.

Good old days: Ji Dong-Won's Sunderland career has failed to take off since his memorable goal against Manchester City on the first day of 2012

Good old days: Ji Dong-Won's Sunderland career has failed to take off since his memorable goal against Manchester City on the first day of 2012

The 21-year-old, who was signed by
Steve Bruce from Chunnam Dragons 18 months ago, played only six games
after New Year’s Day and has yet to feature at all this season.

Hundreds of Korean visitors still go
to the Stadium of Light hoping to see the South Korea Olympic squad
member, only to find him forlornly sitting in the stands in his club
suit and tie.

Ji, who is also a cult figure with
Sunderland supporters, has been linked with a move back to Chunnam
Dragons and O’Neill admitted the striker may have to go out on loan to
revive his Sunderland career.

O’Neill said: ‘It has been tough for
him. He has had a difficult time trying to learn his trade and I have
to look at that, realise how young he is and how far away from home he
is but he has the makings of a player.

‘He has found it difficult to cope with the physical aspect but he has natural talent and it is really up to him.

‘There have been a number of inquiries about our players and all I can say is that it has been a frustrating time for him.

‘He played in the Olympics, didn’t always start the games but he perhaps thought after that goal it would be lift-off time.

‘If there was a possibility of a loan
spell I would give it some consideration, although I can’t at the minute
while we consider in-coming players.’

Dan Lydiate o leave Newport Gwent Dragons for undisclosed European team

Lydiate latest Wales player to depart for France with flanker set for undisclosed European team

Chris Foy


18:28 GMT, 5 December 2012



18:30 GMT, 5 December 2012

Dan Lydiate will join the continuing exodus of Wales players to France at the end of this season, but a similar mass migration of leading England stars appears to have been averted, for now.

Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed that the 24-year-old flanker, who was Six Nations Player of the tournament last season, is leaving to join ‘an undisclosed European team’.

That team is thought to be Parisian club, Racing Metro, who are also recruiting Wales and Lions centre Jamie Roberts, along with Northampton props Brian Mujati and Soane Tonga’uiha.

Channel hopping: Dan Lydiate will join a European club next season

Channel hopping: Dan Lydiate will join a European club next season

However, it appears that the riches on offer across the Channel are not enticing England’s finest to abandon their Test careers with a home World Cup looming in 2015.

While a case could be made for Toulon pair Steffon Armitage and Andrew Sheridan to be recalled by Stuart Lancaster, the national coach is abiding by the RFU’s edict against selected overseas-based players and the hard-line stance appears to be having the desired effect.

Of the 15 players who started for England in last Saturday’s historic victory over the All Blacks at Twickenham, 13 are contracted to their Aviva Premiership clubs until at least the end of next season.

The same applies to other high-profile figures such as Ben Foden, Dylan Hartley, Toby Flood and Courtney Lawes.

With the age-profile of Lancaster’s side being so young, most of those in the Red Rose ranks appear content to stay put and continue to enhance their Test credentials. Just last month, the Youngs brothers – Ben and Tom, agreed new three-year deals with Leicester.

The two players who are coming out of contract at the end of the current campaign are Alex Corbisiero and Geoff Parling. While Corbisiero is understood to be poised for a move away from London Irish, his likely destination is Northampton.

Out of contract: Geoff Parling (second right) is considering his options

Out of contract: Geoff Parling (second right) is considering his options

Leicester lock Parling is considering his options and his Tigers director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, said: ‘For someone like Geoff Parling, who is out of contract, he has come from Newcastle and now he is starting for England. He will get offers bigger than ours, so it will be down to the good will of the player to say he likes playing for you, that he is really happy here trying to win something and that he will take 25 per cent less than he could get somewhere else.’

There is a strong possibility that Parling will choose to stay at Welford Road, but less likelihood of a further Welsh exodus being averted.

Cardiff Blues wing Alex Cuthbert – who was being paid just 15,000 per year at the time he was playing a key role in a Grand Slam triumph last season – is out of contract at the end of this season and once again he will be pursued by wealthy French suitors.

Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees is set to buck the trend by staying in regional rugby, with a summer switch to the Blues under consideration, but there is talk of several Wales players taking French lessons, in readiness for a move to a Gallic club.

Home comforts: Matthew Rees is likely to play his club rugby in Wales

Home comforts: Matthew Rees is likely to play his club rugby in Wales

The likes of Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins, Luke Charteris, James Hook and Lee Byrne are already playing in the Top 14 league, but Wales coach Warren Gatland has expressed concerns about the fitness training regimes over there.

‘Against New Zealand, Mike Phillips was blowing after 52 minutes – we had to get him off,’ said the Kiwi. ‘If they go to France, they take a risk that they won’t reach our standards and expectations.

‘They have a different philosophy and attitude in France. They’ve got quality players but their preparation and approach to everything is different. They tend to have one fitness coach who puts the programme up on the board and it is not monitored as heavily as it is in the UK and Ireland. That’s something we have to look at.

'Are they physically in the best shape to compete at the highest level even though they might be playing quite well in France’

Wales team to play New Zealand: Sam Warburton returns

Warburton back in favour as returning Gatland rings the changes for New Zealand clash



13:28 GMT, 20 November 2012

Warren Gatland has made five changes to the Wales team for Saturday's Millennium Stadium clash against world champions New Zealand.

Gatland is back in charge after working on preparatory business ahead of leading next summer's British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

In his absence, Wales lost their opening autumn Tests against Argentina and Samoa, dropping to eighth place in the International Rugby Board world rankings as a result.

Starting role: Warburton (centre) had been dropped for the loss to Samoa

Starting role: Warburton (centre) had been dropped for the loss to Samoa

Switches from the 26-19 Samoa loss last Friday night see starts for centre Jonathan Davies, fly-half Rhys Priestland, hooker Matthew Rees, lock Luke Charteris and skipper Sam Warburton.

Davies has recovered from a groin problem to make his first appearance of the autumn series, replacing Ashley Beck, while Priestland takes over from Dan Biggar, who was not considered because of a shoulder injury.

Former Wales captain Rees, meanwhile, returns to the front-row, where he will pack down alongside Paul James and Aaron Jarvis, with Charteris in for Ian Evans, who has taken only a limited part in training due to knee trouble, and skipper Warburton replacing Justin Tipuric.

Wales have not beaten New Zealand since 1953, losing 24 successive games against them, while defeat this weekend would make it six reversals in a row against all opponents, something they have not experienced since 2002-03.

Wales team to play New Zealand on Saturday:

L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); A Cuthbert
(Cardiff Blues), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), G North
(Scarlets); R Priestland (Scarlets), M Phillips (Bayonne); P James
(Bath), M Rees (Scarlets), A Jarvis (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues),
L Charteris (Perpignan), R Jones (Ospreys), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues,
capt), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: K Owens (Scarlets), G
Jenkins (Toulon), S Andrews (Cardiff Blues), A Shingler (Scarlets), J
Tipuric (Ospreys), T Knoyle (Scarlets), J Hook (Perpignan), S Williams

Point to prove: Gatland has not taken charge of a match since this year's Grand Slam win

Point to prove: Gatland has not taken charge of a match since this year's Grand Slam win

'No one is more disappointed than the players and the coaches with how things have gone in the last two weeks,' Gatland said.

'But those supporters who have been with us over the last 18 months know, just as we do, that we are a better side than we have displayed so far, and we will be looking to show that on Saturday.

'This New Zealand team is one of the best rugby sides to have ever played the game, and probably the best All Blacks team ever, so it will be a privilege to be able to test ourselves against them.

'Memories of the Rugby World Cup last year and touring New Zealand the previous summer are still fresh in the mind of many of the players and staff.

Daunting task: The All Blacks head to Cardiff on fine form

Daunting task: The All Blacks head to Cardiff on fine form

'The hospitality shown and the way we were looked after made the experience especially memorable, and that makes it all the more special that we have the opportunity to face the best side in the world at the moment in Cardiff.'

Gatland will retake the hot-seat for two Tests – against New Zealand and Australia on December 1 – before handing back control to interim head coach Rob Howley for Wales' RBS 6 Nations title defence, which starts against Ireland on February 2.

Wales v Argentina: Aaron Jarvis handed debut, Mike Phillips overlooked

Jarvis handed Wales debut while Phillips overlooked for Knoyle against Argentina



13:56 GMT, 6 November 2012

Ospreys prop Aaron Jarvis will make his Wales debut in Saturday's autumn Test series opener against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley has also sprung a major surprise at scrum-half by selecting Tavis Knoyle ahead of British and Irish Lions Test No 9 Mike Phillips.

Scarlets flanker Josh Turnbull wears the No 6 shirt with Dan Lydiate and Ryan Jones both sidelined through injury, with Gethin Jenkins packing down in the front-row for his 91st cap alongside former Wales skipper Matthew Rees and Jarvis, who replaces an injured Adam Jones.

Day to remember: Aaron Jarvis will line up in Wales' front row on Saturday

Day to remember: Aaron Jarvis will line up in Wales' front row on Saturday

Injury also sidelines centre Jonathan Davies (groin), so his Scarlets colleague Scott Williams deputises and partners Jamie Roberts in midfield.

There are seven changes from Wales' last game – a 20-19 defeat to Australia in Sydney last June – with Williams, Roberts, Knoyle, Jarvis, lock Ian Evans, Turnbull and No 8 Toby Faletau all starting.

Wales team v Argentina

L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), G North (Scarlets); R Priestland (Scarlets), T Knoyle (Scarlets); G Jenkins (Toulon), M Rees (Scarlets), A Jarvis (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), I Evans (Ospreys), J Turnbull (Scarlets), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: R Hibbard (Ospreys), R Bevington (Ospreys), P James (Bath), R McCusker (Scarlets), J Tipuric (Ospreys), M Phillips (Bayonne), J Hook (Perpignan), L Williams (Scarlets).

Bayonne star Phillips has to be
content with a place on the bench alongside his fellow France-based back
James Hook, but Ospreys centre Ashley Beck was not considered for the
match-day 23 due to a hip problem.

Fly-half Rhys Priestland, meanwhile, has seen off the challenges of Hook and Ospreys' in-form Dan Biggar to retain the playmaker role, with Howley retaining a potent back-three of Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert and George North.

Exeter-born Jarvis, who has a Welsh
grandmother, has been in strong form for the Ospreys this season and he
impressed the Wales coaching staff during last week's training camp in

'One or two injuries have forced our hands in certain areas in terms of selection,' Howley said.

the fact that we are still able to field a side packed with Grand Slam
experience shows that we have been able to develop some depth in recent

Given the nod: Scrum-half Tavis Knoyle

Overlooked: Mike Phillips

Given the nod: Tavis Knoyle (left) plays at scrum half ahead of Mike Phillips (right)

'There are obvious opportunities for the likes of Aaron, Tavis and Josh to pull on the jersey against Argentina and try to make it their own.

'We all know how important a good start against the Pumas will be to our November series. They arrive battle-hardened after a tough Rugby Championship campaign.

'They will be looking to silence the Millennium Stadium crowd from the outset and we know we can't afford to let that happen, with a successful campaign this autumn vital to our ambitions for the future.'

After Argentina, reigning RBS 6 Nations champions Wales face Samoa six days later before tackling World Cup holders New Zealand on November 24, followed by a December 1 appointment with Australia.

The top four teams in the International Rugby Board world rankings at the end of the autumn Tests will secure top seedings for the 2015 World Cup pools, which will be drawn in London early next month.

Wales squad for autumn Tests includes Aaron Jarvis

Wales are caught in red tape as Howley's autumn preparations are hampered



21:14 GMT, 22 October 2012

French bureaucracy threatens Wales’ bid to beat the best teams in the world this autumn.

Central contracts were the focus of attention on Monday when Rob Howley named his 35-man squad for the four Tests against Argentina (November 10), Samoa (Nov 16), New Zealand (Nov 24) and Australia (Dec 1) — Ospreys prop Aaron Jarvis is the only uncapped player.

The good news is the return of centre Jamie Roberts, back from a long-term injury, into a midfield that missed him so badly.

Blow: Wales will be without the likes of Mike Phillips for their warm-up

Blow: Wales will be without the likes of Mike Phillips for their warm-up


Backs: L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam
Williams (Scarlets), A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), G North (Scarlets), H
Robinson (Cardiff Blues), A Beck (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets), J
Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Scarlets), D Biggar (Ospreys), J
Hook (Perpignan), R Priestland (Scarlets), T Knoyle (Scarlets), M
Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues).

Forwards: S Andrews (Cardiff Blues), R
Bevington (Ospreys), P James (Bath), A Jarvis (Ospreys), G Jenkins
(Toulon), A Jones (Ospreys), R Hibbard (Ospreys), K Owens (Scarlets), M
Rees (Scarlets), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), L Charteris (Perpignan), I
Evans (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons),
R Jones (Ospreys), R McCusker (Scarlets), A Shingler (Scarlets), J
Tipuric (Ospreys), J Turnbull (Scarlets), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues,

But Roberts’ contract with the Cardiff Blues runs out in June next year, at the same time he qualifies as a doctor, and it is looking ever more likely that Wales will lose him to French club rugby.

The problem for Howley — who is acting head coach now that Warren Gatland has a Lions tour to prepare for — is that the final Test of the series against Australia falls outside the IRB’s official window during which clubs must release players for international duty.

Unless a late solution is found, Wales will have to prepare for that final match without their French-based players — scrum half Mike Phillips, loosehead prop Gethin Jenkins and utility back James Hook — because of club commitments, although second row Luke Charteris has extended release from Perpignan.

Howley said: ‘If Welsh players are being headhunted to play in France then we want some sort of arrangement where they become available for some preparation time and a game outside the IRB window.’

Taking the reins: Rob Howley (right) is in charge for Wales this autumn

Taking the reins: Rob Howley (right) is in charge for Wales this autumn

Wales will begin their preparations
for the autumn with a week’s training camp in Spala, Poland. Their
opening autumn Test is against Argentina on November 10,' Howley added.

'Argentina are first up, and after the experience they have gained in the Rugby Championship they will be a challenging and tough opponent, but this is a challenge we will look forward to.

'We know how important momentum is going into any series, and the bigger picture is the Rugby World Cup draw at the beginning of December, and how we perform against the Pumas, Samoa, the All Blacks and the Wallabies will have a direct effect on our seeding in that draw.

'We need a successful November to back up our performances at the World Cup in New Zealand and the Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year, and we are determined to achieve it.'

Ashley Williams surprised to take over as Wales captain from Aaron Ramsey

Williams surprised to win Wales captaincy as he thought Ramsey was doing good job



16:23 GMT, 11 October 2012

Wales captain Ashley Williams admits he was surprised to be asked to lead the side again and has revealed he received congratulations from his predecessor Aaron Ramsey.

Dragons boss Chris Coleman opted to switch the armband from Arsenal midfielder Ramsey to Swansea skipper Williams ahead of the current international break, in which Wales play a double-header of World Cup qualifiers against Scotland at home on Friday and Croatia away on Tuesday.

Williams, 28, has captained his country on four occasions but after Ramsey had been named as skipper in 2011 at the age of 20, the Swans centre-back did not think he would get another opportunity.

Surprise: Ashley Williams (right) was not expecting to captain Wales again

Surprise: Ashley Williams (right) was not expecting to captain Wales again

Asked if had believed the armband would come his way again, Williams said: 'Probably not to be honest, because I thought Aaron was doing a good job.

'I was just concentrating on trying to play my best for Wales. So probably not, but I'm happy.

'He (Coleman) asked me if I wanted to do it – he didn't tell me I had to.

'He called me and said he had spoken to Aaron. Obviously I was over the moon, and he just said we would have a chat when we got to camp.'

Asked about Ramsey's reaction, Williams said: 'I have spoken to Aaron and he said congratulations.

'We kind of laughed and that was it really – no big deal. We get on fine.'

Wales head into the Scotland clash bottom of Group A having lost their first two fixtures, a 2-0 home reverse to Belgium and then a humiliating 6-1 defeat in Serbia.

Those results last month extended the Dragons' losing streak since Coleman was appointed as manager to five games, including the 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica in the Gary Speed memorial match.

Williams feels Friday's contest at Cardiff City Stadium is 'definitely a must-win match' and has stressed that the players want a victory for their manager, on whom the pressure has been increasing.

Referring to Coleman, Williams said: 'After the results I think you are always going to get criticised like that, especially him – being the manager, it is obviously going to fall on his shoulders.

'But I think all the boys really like him and we have enjoyed working with him.

'We really want to win for him as well – I think that is true in this case.

'He is going to be criticised and we would like to turn that around for him because I don't think it's really deserved.

Deposed: Ramsey has lost the Wales armband

Deposed: Ramsey has lost the Wales armband

'I think we have kind of let him down on the pitch and we would like to put that right.”

Scotland opened their own campaign in somewhat disappointing fashion with two home draws, 0-0 with Serbia and 1-1 with Macedonia.

It means the heat has also been on their manager Craig Levein, although Coleman is adamant both he and his opposite number can handle the criticism.

'Craig is a big boy like me,' Coleman said. 'We know as soon as you walk in the door, especially if it is an international job, there is more scrutiny on the games because there are fewer of them and less time to get things right.

'It is a nation looking at you. Craig can handle that, the same as I can.

Good job: Williams said Ramsey was doing a good job

Good job: Williams said Ramsey was doing a good job

'Once you start looking at the negative side of things, it stops you making decisions and it is finished for you.'

Serbia currently top Group A with four points, the same amount that Belgium and Croatia have, while Macedonia have one.

Assessing the situation, Coleman said: 'In terms of us doing a bit of damage in this group, then we have to get a win as quickly as we can.

'There is a game tomorrow night, so why not then Scotland are coming down and they are not going to lie down for us – they are under their own pressure.

'They have a good squad and it is going to be a typical British game I imagine – fast, probably aggressive, and with a fantastic atmosphere. We have to try to use that for our own benefit.'

Coleman confirmed wide man Gareth Bale, who has been nursing a heel complaint, would be taking part in full training today, but the manager does not expect defender Adam Matthews (ankle) to be fit to play in Friday's match.

Wales boss Chris Coleman told to deliver points against Scotland and Croatia

Coleman told to deliver points against Scotland and Croatia as Wales boss searches for first win



20:47 GMT, 10 October 2012

Chris Coleman has received a bizarre vote of confidence from his bosses at the Football Association of Wales as he bids to avoid becoming the worst manager in the country’s history.

Jonathan Ford, the governing body’s chief executive, has assured the Red Dragons’ coach of his ‘100 per cent support’ while at the same time suggesting that securing points against Scotland and Croatia in the next week is ‘a must.’

Coleman has so far lost all four of his matches in charge – five if the game against Costa Rica in memory of Gary Speed is included – and Wales were on the end of a humiliating six-goal drubbing in Serbia last month.

Backing: Chris Coleman (second right)

Backing: Chris Coleman (second right)

Further reversals would almost
certainly bring his position into sharper focus. There is disquiet among
senior officials that the team has not progressed after taking strides
forward under Speed.

If Wales were to lose the up-coming
double-header, it would leave Coleman with the worst record since the
country’s first manager Walley Barnes who lost his opening four games in
1954. Prior to that, the team was selected by committee.

Ford said: 'We back Chris, 100 per
cent. We sat down with him after the shock in Serbia. No-one wanted to
come away from that match the way we did and Chris took some time to
reflect on what he saw and what he was trying to do with the legacy that
Gary had left us.

Thrashing: Gareth Bale looks furious as Serbia celebrate another goal

Thrashing: Gareth Bale looks furious as Serbia celebrate another goal

'Chris has made some fundamental
changes and we support him and wish our team all of the best success for
the two matches coming up.'

Coleman felt he had to act in the
wake of the disaster in Novi Sad, Wales third heaviest defeat since the
Second World War, axing Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey from his position as
skipper, replacing him with Swansea City stopper Ashley Williams.

However, Ford was then asked if Wales
needed an improved showing, and replied: 'Absolutely. Away to Croatia
will be a very difficult and challenging task. Putting some points on
the board is a must.'

Mike Phillips Bayonne suspension lifted by club

Family matters for Phillips after seeing Bayonne suspension lifted by club



10:12 GMT, 10 October 2012

Wales star Mike Phillips was due to resume training with Bayonne after having his suspension lifted by the French club.

He was suspended 12 days ago and fined for what Bayonne described as unacceptable off-field behaviour.

But club chairman Alain Afflelou, administrators and coaching staff have now welcomed Phillips back into the fold.

Back in the fold: Phillips has returned after being banned by his club

Back in the fold: Phillips has returned after being banned by his club

'Mike Phillips is allowed to resume collective training from Wednesday, October 10,' the club said on its official website.

It is unlikely that Phillips will be involved in Friday night's Amlin Challenge Cup opener against Italian minnows Mogliano.

There is, though, a strong chance he could feature when Bayonne tackle Newport Gwent Dragons in Wales on Saturday week.

Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley is due to announce his squad for the autumn Tests on October 22, with Phillips a key part of his plans for game against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.

Phillips' latest suspension came 15 months after the Welsh Rugby Union temporarily removed him from their 2011 World Cup training squad following a late-night incident in Cardiff city centre.

Craig Bellamy ruled out of Wales v Scotland

Wales star Bellamy ruled out of World Cup qualifier against Scotland



22:19 GMT, 7 October 2012

Craig Bellamy is out of Wales’ crunch World Cup qualifier with Scotland on Friday night.

Wales boss Chris Coleman had left a space available for Cardiff striker Bellamy in the hope he could join up with his 21-man squad. But Bellamy, who missed Cardiff’s 2-1 win at Ipswich on Saturday, will not link up with his country following a knee injury.

A Wales source said on Sunday night: 'Craig is injured.'

Ruled out: Bellamy watches Wales Under-16s against Scotland at Pittodrie on Friday night

Ruled out: Bellamy watches Wales Under-16s against Scotland at Pittodrie on Friday night

Only 24 hours earlier, Cardiff manager Malky Mackay confirmed following the victory at Portman Road that Bellamy, 33, had a badly bruised knee. Injury also ruled Bellamy out of Wales’ opening Group A defeats to Belgium and Serbia last month.

Now question marks will remain over his Bellamy’s international future as Coleman had wanted the ex-Liverpool and Manchester City forward to make a decision on his long-term commitment to the Dragons.