NO BALE, no Ramsey, no hope for Wales? That would certainly have been the case up until recently but the emergence of an exciting new generation of talent means there is now life beyond the squad’s two genuine stars.

With Gareth Bale back in Madrid nursing a groin problem and Aaron Ramsey missing due to “family reasons” with his wife due to give birth to twins, tonight’s Nations League tie in Dublin is a chance for the youngsters to take centre stage.

Ryan Giggs’ men were totally outclassed by Spain at the Principality Stadium last week with the defence, led by veteran skipper Ashley Williams, a shambles in the first half.

In midfield Ramsey and Joe Allen were no match for Rodri and Suso, while Sam Vokes was a virtual spectator up front until his late consolation goal.

But, on a night of very few bright spots for Giggs, one positive was the performances of some of his young talents with Ethan Ampadu and Harry Wilson impressing before the break and substitutes David Brooks, Tom Lawrence and Matthew Smith shining in the second half.

Ampadu, who hit the post against Spain and ran the show in last month’s 4-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff, will also miss tonight’s match after limping off last Thursday.

But Wilson, Brooks, Lawrence and Smith should all get another chance to show what they can do on the big stage.

And with Connor Roberts, who was so impressive against the Irish last time out, last year’s hot property Ben Woodburn and Ipswich Town’s Gwion Edwards also called up there are plenty of exciting options for Giggs to choose from.

The new manager has continued the work of his predecessor Chris Coleman in promoting young talent and, if anything, Giggs seems even keener to put his faith in youth.

The Manchester United legend has even compared the current crop in his Wales squad to the famous Class of ’92 at Old Trafford, which included him, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers.

“I saw it with the lads who came through at United," said Giggs earlier this month when asked about the benefits of promoting young players as a group.

“When you come through together you experience the same things. Brooksy could talk to Ben Woodburn, he could have been in that situation a year ago and you can bounce off each other.

“Ben can see what Brooksy's doing and maybe speak to him to get back where he was at.

“Connor Roberts has been a revelation the way he's been playing [at Swansea]; all different characters and personalities, but all with the same goal.

“There's a fantastic team spirit within the group. You have the older players, the ones in the middle and the younger players.

“Of course, they're going to go towards their own age group, but it does help.”

The likes of Brooks, Lawrence and Roberts showed they can excel alongside Bale and Ramsey – just as the Class of ’92 flourished while playing with Eric Cantona and Roy Keane.

Giggs and his contemporaries went on to dominate the Premier League for the next decade and more and tonight’s match at the Aviva Stadium – against a limited Irish side – may show us whether these youngsters are ready to emerge from the shadow of Bale and Ramsey on the international stage.

Ben Davies believes Brooks, who is impressing in the Premier League with AFC Bournemouth, is ready for the step up.

“He is a top player. He has a lot of ability and talent that defenders just don't want to come up against,” said the Tottenham Hotspur defender.

“We'll have a good attacking threat in him against Ireland.”

And 28-year-old Vokes, who is likely to lead the line again tonight, also has faith in the youngsters and the team’s ability to cope without Bale and Ramsey.

“We have to prove we can still win matches when Gareth is not playing,” said the Burnley striker.

“We have a lot of players operating at the top level and as we showed against Ireland last month, we are more than a just a team built around one player.

“The Spain result was disappointing for us, but this feels like an exciting time for Wales and all the lads want to be part of this new era under Ryan Giggs.

“We have had a couple of disappointing results since the win against Ireland, but we go to Dublin looking forward to the challenge.”

It is always a challenge for Wales in the Irish capital, where they haven't won since 1992. That was before these young talents were born but they have nothing to fear against Martin O'Neill's men tonight.