Wales: Ben Davies and David Brooks ruled out of World Cup qualifiers

Ben Davies
Ben Davies has won 67 caps for Wales and captained his country
World Cup 2022 qualifying: Czech Republic v Wales
Venue: Sinobo Stadium, Prague Date: Friday, 8 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, plus live text and score updates on the BBC Sport website and app. Highlights on Match of the Day Wales on BBC One Wales from 23:25 BST.

Ben Davies and David Brooks have pulled out of Wales' squad for the World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Estonia because of illness.

Tottenham's Davies is the second left-back to withdraw, following Sheffield United's Rhys Norrington-Davies.

Bournemouth attacking midfielder Brooks would have been in contention to start, with captain Gareth Bale ruled out by a hamstring injury.

Luton Town centre-back Tom Lockyer has also withdrawn with injury.

Wales had added Will Vaulks and Ben Cabango to the squad following Norrington-Davies and Lockyer's withdrawals, but have not called up replacements for Davies and Brooks, whose illnesses are not related to Covid-19.

Swansea City defender Cabango was omitted from the original squad having missed last month's games because of Covid-19.

For Cardiff City midfielder Vaulks it is a first call-up since Oct 2020.

The 28-year-old, who has six Wales caps, admitted in March there were doubts over his international future, after being overlooked for the opening World Cup qualifiers having also been left out of November 2020's Nations League games.

Vaulks - who qualifies for Wales via his mother - was omitted from the squad for the Euro 2020 finals.

Wales play the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, 8 October, followed by another away qualifier against Estonia on Monday, 11 October.

They sit third in their qualifying group for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, level on points with the Czechs, but nine points behind leaders Belgium.

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Aaron Ramsey has joined up with the current squad despite missing the last two matches for Juventus, reportedly with "muscle fatigue".

The former Arsenal and Cardiff midfielder was among a long list of withdrawals from last month's squad for a friendly in Finland and qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia.

Page said on unveiling his latest selection that he did not expect Ramsey to be forced out again, though added they would take "extra care" of the 30-year-old.

Wales will be without captain Bale, who has not played for Real Madrid since the last international window because of a serious hamstring tear.

The Czech Republic will be without West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal and three players from league champions Slavia Prague for Friday's game in Prague.

The Czech Football Association says Cougal, Jan Boril, Lukas Masopust and Petr Sevcik have all withdrawn from their squad for qualifiers against Wales and Belarus with health problems.

Coach Jaroslav Silhavy has added Tomas Wiesner, Milan Havel, Jaromir Zmrhal and Jan Kopic.

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