Bournemouth's David Brooks never considered changing Wales allegiance

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David Brooks (l) has impressed so far this season for Bournemouth.

David Brooks says he never considered changing his mind like the Republic of Ireland’s Declan Rice after pledging his international allegiance to Wales.

Rice was omitted from the Republic squad for Thursday’s UEFA Nations League opener against Wales in Cardiff with manager Martin O’Neill revealing the West Ham defender is still deliberating over switching loyalties to England.

London-born Rice has three senior caps for the Republic but they all came in friendly matches, meaning the 19-year-old could yet decide to represent England instead.

Warrington-born Brooks, like Rice, has appeared in three international friendlies, but the Bournemouth forward is set to end any doubts over his future by representing Wales in a competitive fixture against the Republic, who the Welsh face in Cardiff on Thursday.

“There is a decision to be made by younger players like Declan Rice and myself,” said 21-year-old Brooks.

Brooks has played in three friendlies for Wales so far.

Brooks has played in three friendlies for Wales so far.

“I don’t know his situation and what he wants to do so I can’t really comment on that. But for me it was always going to be Wales and thankfully I got that opportunity.

“I won’t be switching even if I don’t get on against the Republic.”

Brooks did represent England Under-20s at the Toulon Tournament in 2017 when he was named the competition’s best player.

But Brooks, whose mother Cathryn is from Llangollen, joined the Wales set-up after that tournament and has won senior caps in friendlies against France, Panama and Mexico in the past 12 months.

“You obviously listen to what your family have to say and there’s other influences involved as well,” Brooks said of his decision to play for Wales.

“You can get all the advice in the world, but if you want to do something for yourself you have to (make a decision).

“There’s no going back from that and I can’t wait to get the Wales shirt on again.”

Brooks’ previous international experience came when he was a Sheffield United player.

But an £11.5million switch to Bournemouth has turned him into a Premier League player and he feels he is already benefiting from his summer move.

“Eddie Howe (the Bournemouth manager) has been great to work with,” Brooks said.

Giggs took charge of Wales at the beginning of the year.

Giggs took charge of Wales at the beginning of the year.

“The training has been spot on and I can see myself improving already, and hopefully it can continue.

“It’s the same with Wales as the quality in our squad is there for all to see.

“I’m a big Manchester United fan and I grew up watching the gaffer (Ryan Giggs).

“He was a fantastic player and won near enough every trophy under the sun, so I’m delighted to work with him.

“It was a bit strange meeting him at first, but I’m used to it now and I’ve just got to kick on and try and impress him.”

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Raheem Sterling withdraws from England squad due to back problem

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Raheem Sterling has withdrawn from the England squad for the internationals with Spain and Switzerland due to injury.

Manchester City forward Sterling has suffered a back problem, according to a statement from the Football Association.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions host Spain in the UEFA Nations League at Wembley on Saturday, before taking on the Swiss in a friendly at Leicester’s King Power Stadium three days later.

Manager Southgate, who celebrated his 48th birthday on Monday, does not plan to call up a replacement.

The remaining 21 players in the squad are due to train for the first time on Tuesday morning at St. George’s Park.

Sterling has scored twice in three Premier League appearances for City so far this season, including the opener in Saturday’s victory over Newcastle.

The 23-year-old has won 44 caps for his country, scoring twice, and made six appearances at the World Cup in the summer as England reached the semi-finals.

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France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris ruled out of Germany clash with thigh injury

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Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been ruled out of France’s clash with Germany through injury.

Lloris missed his side’s 2-1 defeat at Watford on Sunday with a thigh problem and will also be unavailable for France’s Nations League opener on Thursday.

France boss Didier Deschamps called up Montpellier goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte to replace Lloris after the 31-year-old was examined by Dr Franck Le Gall at France’s National Football Centre at Clairefontaine on Monday morning.

Lloris apologised “wholeheartedly” last month after being charged with drink driving.

The World Cup winner was charged following a routine patrol stop in the early hours of Friday, August 24 and was bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 11.

Lloris said in a statement: “I wish to apologise wholeheartedly to my family, the club, my team-mates, the manager and all of the supporters.

“Drink driving is completely unacceptable, I take full responsibility for my actions and it is not the example I wish to set.”

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