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Wales must drop deep to cope with new Rooney role: Ramsey

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Lille, France 14/6/16 England and Wales supporters gather outside a pub in Lille, France, June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Lille, France 14/6/16 England and Wales supporters gather outside a pub in Lille, France, June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

REUTERS - Wales will need to defend deep if they are to stifle England captain Wayne Rooney's influence on their European Championship clash on Thursday, midfielder Aaron Ramsey has said.

Rooney, who has scored 52 goals in 112 internationals, was given a midfield role in England's 1-1 draw with Russia in their Group B opener on Saturday, while Wales marked their first game at a major tournament for 58 years with a 2-1 win over Slovakia.

Ramsey said the different role for Rooney would allow him more time on the ball and Wales had to make sure he did not pick them apart.

"Rooney is a fantastic player. He has great ability on the ball and a range of passing," the Wales midfielder told reporters in France. "We will have to look out for him, be wary of that. Hopefully we can keep him quiet.

"It is not an easy position for him to play but a player of his quality probably finds it a bit easier to slot into there. We defend as a team, we can drop deep and be tough to break down so hopefully that works in our favour."

Wales end their group stage campaign against Russia in Toulouse on June 20.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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