Wales hit by Ricketts blow

Toshack forced to change planned line-up

Ricketts: Set to miss out

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Wales defender Sam Ricketts looks set to miss the World Cup qualifier against Russia in Moscow.

The Hull City defender was tipped to start at full-back, with Gareth Bale pushed forward into a more attacking role.

But Ricketts has been struck down by shingles ahead of the match and Bale will have to stay at left-back.

It is the latest blow to manager John Toshack who has already seen Paul Parry announce his retirement from international football and Jason Koumas return to Wigan for treatment on his ankle injury.

Koumas played for 88 minutes of the 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan in Cardiff as Wales got their Group Four qualification campaign off to a winning start, but did not make the trip to Moscow.

Parry has claimed he called time on his international career as he felt like a 'spare part' after not featuring against Azerbaijan, but Toshack was keen not to be drawn into a war of words.


Toshack said: "I don't want to talk about Parry, I'd rather focus on the players who are here. Some players say they are not involved, but all the subs should feel they are involved.

"This job can be very frustrating. Nobody likes not being involved, and 10 days away from your family can be hard."

Toshack believes his job is made much harder as he is always on the losing side in the ongoing club v country row.

He said: "I have never seen as many problems that I get from English clubs and managers.

"It was never like this when I worked in Turkey and Spain. I must admit we have had to suffer cruel misfortunes over the years I have been manager.

"Maybe we should try to do something about these 10-day stints away and two matches. You wonder how things are going with players, they have families and don't want to be away that amount of time."