Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Wales hand teenager Ben Woodburn a senior call-up for Ireland game

Wales hand teenager Ben Woodburn a senior call-up for Ireland game

Coleman, however, has named the 17-year-old Woodburn in the squad for the crunch World Cup clash with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Friday week.

Wales sit third in their qualifying group, four points behind Ireland, who they face on March 24.

Woodburn, who has been at Liverpool since he was an U7s player, secured his place in the Anfield history books when he became the youngest person to ever score for Liverpool in November with his strike against Leeds United in the EFL Cup tie.

Coleman dismissed reports suggesting that he had picked Woodburn, who has represented Wales at youth level since he was 13, with the intention of preventing him from becoming an England player. There will be no knee-jerk reaction to cap him.

The youngster's appearances in a Reds shirt has led to calls for England to request his global allegiance but Coleman says he was always confident of the forward representing Wales at senior level. We see Ben as an worldwide player for Wales.

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"If Ben wanted to go and play for England, there is absolutely nothing we could do about it", Coleman added.

"He's been in our system for five years, so we know all about him, he's done well this season". He has a good future with us. "It wasn't us getting excited about Ben, it was other people".

"He's earned this - when I thought about the best squad I can select for this game, he's done enough to get in".

Forward Bale, 27, has featured in five games for Real after recovering from ankle injury which kept him out of action for three months.

But, he has not missed a competitive worldwide for almost three-and-a-half years. "He's a Welsh global, he's played for us since a young boy and this is a the natural progression for him".

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