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Newcastle defender Paul Dummett set for dramatic U-turn over international future

Paul Dummett could return to the Wales fold
Paul Dummett could return to the Wales fold

Newcastle defender Paul Dummett is ready to end his international exile and rejoin the Wales set-up under Ryan Giggs.

Dummett declared himself unavailable for Wales in the summer of 2017 after being handed few opportunities by previous manager Chris Coleman.

The 26-year-old chose to focus on his club career on Tyneside and rejected Giggs’ invitation to join his first Wales squad at the China Cup in March.

But Dummett could now return to the fold ahead of next month’s UEFA League of Nations qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, with Giggs expected to make a fresh attempt to get the left-back on board.

“I never really had many chances to play for Wales, but it is something I am keen to do,” Dummett told Press Association Sport.

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“I came along in the past, but it was at a time when I wasn’t playing and was picking up injuries.

“I felt like it was the right time not to come and play, and concentrate on playing for my club.”

Newcastle-born Dummett, who qualifies for Wales through his Caerphilly-born grandfather, made his senior debut in an Amsterdam friendly against Holland in June 2014.

His only other appearance came in a Cardiff friendly – also against Holland – in November 2015, with Coleman preferring Ben Davies, Neil Taylor and Jazz Richards as left-sided defensive options.

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Dummett was part of Wales’ pre-Euro 2016 training camp in Portugal, but he was later cut from the enlarged squad when it was trimmed to 23 for the tournament itself.

He failed to establish himself following the European Championship and had a public spat with Coleman after making himself unavailable for a World Cup qualifier against Serbia in June 2017.

Giggs was keen to call up the Premier League regular after succeeding Coleman in January but saw his invitation turned down.

“We were going through a tough spell with Newcastle in the Premier League and I felt like it was the right decision that I made,” Dummett said.

“I wanted to focus on Newcastle because ultimately I want to be playing in the Premier League and we were in the bottom three at the time.

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“I wanted to make sure I was playing every week for Newcastle and he (Giggs) respected the decision that I made.

“But he was really positive when I spoke to him on the phone.”

Asked whether the new era under Giggs might persuade him to reconsider his decision, Dummett said: “At any club, any international team, when you have a change of manager, things change.

“New managers have different ideas and different players play, so it is obviously a new era at Wales now.

“We’ll see what happens if I can speak to the manager in the next few weeks.”