Jack set to end Wales wait

Jack Collison could make his competitive bow for Wales against England in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier this evening and in so doing end any doubts outsiders have had about his commitment to the cause.

Although the Hammers midfielder has nine caps to his name, he has only ever featured in friendly games, meaning he could still switch allegiance to tonight's opponents. However, Collison has never wavered in his passion to play for the Principality.

Collison, 22, had hoped to figure in the 2-1 victory against Montenegro on Friday evening only to be laid low by a stomach bug. He has recovered, though, and trained at Wembley last night with his team-mates including fellow midfielders Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

A decisive first competitive cap looks set to happen at last for the player whose most telling Hammers contribution so far this season came with the vital assist for Kevin Nolan in the 1-0 win at Doncaster Rovers. After the knee troubles of the last year, Collison is delighted to be back in the thick of the action for club and country.

Gary Speed, the Wales manager, has not worried at all about having to wait to properly blood the homegrown Hammer. "Knowing him over the last seven or eight months he's fully committed and the way he played against Australia in the second half when he came on [in August's friendly] I'm sure he will be pushing for a starting place.

"We're fortunate to be in a position where we have a lot of quality in midfield and Jack is an important part of that."