Wales wait on Kieffer Moore fitness but Chris Mepham out of Republic match

Wales forward Kieffer Moore was forced off after just 40 minutes at Wembley
Wales forward Kieffer Moore was forced off after just 40 minutes at Wembley

Wales will give Kieffer Moore time to prove his fitness for Sunday’s Nations League match against the Republic of Ireland – but Chris Mepham is out.

Moore has been included in Wales’ match-day squad for the game in Dublin but Mepham has been omitted.

Cardiff City striker Moore was forced off during Thursday’s 3-0 friendly loss to England with a bruised toe.

Bournemouth defender Mepham picked up a knee injury late on and both players travelled to Dublin to be assessed.

“They’re struggling a little bit. We’ll give them as much time as possible,” Wales manager Ryan Giggs had said on Saturday.

“We won’t take any risks if there are any risks.”

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey has linked up with the Wales squad in Dublin after missing the England game.

Ramsey was part of the club’s Covid-19 bubble following an outbreak.

“Aaron’s trained all week with Juve and he joined up with us yesterday when we landed in Dublin,” Giggs added.

“He’s fit to play and in good shape.”

Wales are light on forward options to replace Moore, with Hal Robson-Kanu already out of the squad after breaking his arm.

Moore would be sorely missed if he is ruled out of the Ireland game.

The physically imposing Cardiff City striker has established himself as an important first-team player under Giggs, scoring three goals in his eight appearances to date and helping Wales qualify for next summer’s European Championship.

After their match against the Republic of Ireland, Wales visit Bulgaria on Wednesday.

Although Robson-Kanu’s withdrawal leaves Moore as the only out-and-out centre-forward in the squad, Giggs does not anticipate he will call up a replacement.

That is because Wales are in their own bubble, an enclosed environment to comply with coronavirus protocols, and any additional call-ups would require testing before they can join the squad for training.

“No, it will be very difficult because we’re in the bubble,” Giggs said when asked if Wales might call for cover.

“We have got other options but hopefully he will be okay and it is only bruised.”

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