James Collins denies Wales 'snub' claim
9:43pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Latest Football
NEWPORT defender James Collins has denied Wales boss Chris Coleman's suggestion that he refused to play for his country.
Under-fire national manager Coleman claimed after Tuesday's 3-0 home defeat to Serbia that the West Ham player had rejected the chance to join the squad after suspension and injury had ruled out Ashley Williams and Sam Ricketts.
But Collins said: "I was not contacted by Chris Coleman or anyone at the FAW to request I join up with the squad. Had I been asked I would have gladly represented my country."
Without Collins, Ricketts and Williams, Coleman selected Cwmbran-born Danny Gabbidon and Swansea City full-back Ben Davies in central defence against the Serbs.
"It has to mean everything to turn up to play for Wales - if it doesn't, then don't turn up," Coleman said after the defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium.
"James explained to me that he didn't want to come into the squad after being on standby because psychologically he was disappointed. But that's not the attitude I'm looking for."
But in a statement released this evening, 30-year-old Collins said he felt "obliged to set the record straight".
He added: "I did have a conversation with Chris to try to seek clarification on why I had been left out of the initial squad for both the Macedonia and the Serbia matches - but at no stage did I state that I would refuse to play for Wales.
"I am proud to come from Wales and even prouder to pull on the red shirt of my country so the suggestion that I would ever refuse to play for them is plainly wrong."
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