Collins dismisses exit talk

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Defender James Collins has rejected talk that he departed Wales's squad to face Switzerland in their European Championship qualifier due to him being out of favour with manager Gary Speed.

The 28-year-old was dropped for the match with England at Wembley last month, and reports had suggested the reason behind Collins' withdrawal was due to him being disapointed with the current selection policy.

But Collins has maintained his commitment to his country, stating injury, not his disgruntlement with team selection, was the reason behind his sudden walkout.

"I am gutted to miss out for Wales because I want to play every game if I can," said Collins.

"There was a bit of talk back home that I might have pulled out because I didn't play in the last couple of games.

"But that certainly wasn't the case at all because I am actually injured so I am sad to be missing out. It hasn't entered my mind at all to quit playing for Wales.


"My dad told me there was a piece in one of the papers down in Wales saying I had pulled out of the squad because I was unhappy that I didn't play or something. But that wasn't the case at all.

"I would have loved to have been there with the boys.

"The rumours do annoy me a bit," he added. "Obviously I was disappointed to miss out last time.

"I spoke to my family so they know how disappointed I was because it was such a big game for Wales that I didn't play.

"But it was a decision the manager had to make but to start rumours that I am not going to turn up this time because I didn't play is rubbish and when I'm fit I'll be there."

In Collins' absence, Darcy Blake will partner Ashley Williams in the centre of defence, as Speed's side look to build on their win over Montenegro and their impressive performance against England during last month's qualifying double header.

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