International call-up for Bristol Rovers defender - could miss League One fixture

The Rovers defender is in line to represent his country for a second time at Under-21’s level.
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Bristol Rovers defender Luca Hoole has been called up for a second time to the Wales Under-21’s squad.

Hoole, born in Newport, is in line to make his second cap at international level after appearing for the Dragons in June.

Wales recently parted company with their manager Paul Bodin and have replaced him with former Leeds United midfielder Matty Jones.

Jones has seen something in Hoole and included him in a 26-man squad for the friendly with Austria a week Tuesday. Wales play in Vienna on Tuesday, September 27, which is three days after Rovers’ League One match with Accrington Stanley.

He would be expected to train with the Wales team before making an appearance with both club and country deciding what is best for the player.

Whilst it is a joyous occasion for the Welshman, Rovers are in somewhat of a defensive crisis, owing to both injuries and suspension and his potential absence could make for a selection headache for Joey Barton.

Hoole, a right-back by trade is likely to play at centre-back this weekend against Lincoln City given he is the only player that is recognised to play in that role.

Bobby Thomas was shown two yellow cards in quick succession which rules him out for the clash against Lincoln City whilst his defensive partner Alfie Kilgour was given a straight dismissal.

Rovers are considering appealing the red card given to Kilgour after he was dismissed for a foul on Conor Chaplin, having been deemed the last defender.

In Thomas’ case given they were two yellow cards they are unable to appeal and so the on-lon Burnley man will not play a part with him set to return a week later.

Kilgour and Thomas’ absence add to the injuries of both James Connolly and on-loan Everton centre-back Lewis Gibson. Gibson’s injury has been worse than expected which has seen him miss the last three matches.

In his post-match interview with the Bristol Post, Barton’s latest update on Gibson was: “I don’t know. Hopefully, but Hooley can do a job there.

“We’ll figure something out, but it might be difficult for Lincoln to prepare for us, put it that way, but I imagine they’ll be lumping it straight forward from back to front and testing out our backline.”

Hoole’s Rovers teammate Connolly meanwhile may have been away with him next week after he made his debut for Wales last week at the same time also in the same match.

Connolly will have to sit this one out however after suffering a fracture injury which has him sidelined for the month or so. He turns 21 in November which could run down the clock on his international career.

A postponement is unlikely for the fixture against Accrington as neither team have more than three players called up for duty.

Cymru U21: Cian TYLER (Coventry City), David ROBSON (Hull City), Ed BEACH (Chelsea), Evan WATTS (Swansea  City), Fin STEVENS (Swansea City – on loan from Brentford), Ollie DENHAM (Cardiff City), Owen BEVAN (Yeovil  Town – on loan from Bournemouth), Matt BAKER (Stoke City), Owen BECK (Bolton Wanderers – on loan from Liverpool), Iestyn HUGHES (Leicester City), Luca HOOLE (Bristol Rovers), Zac ASHWORTH (West Bromwich  Albion), Oli HAMMOND (Nottingham Forest), Tom SPARROW (Stoke City), Eli KING (Crewe Alexandra – on loan  from Cardiff City), Oli EWING (Leicester City), Charlie SAVAGE (Manchester United), Ryan HOWLEY (Coventry  City), Jordan JAMES (Birmingham City), Jadan RAYMOND (Crystal Palace), James LANNIN-SWEET (Arsenal), Ed  TURNS (Brighton & Hove Albion), Pat JONES (Huddersfield Town), Josh FARRELL (Juventud de Torremolinos CF  – on loan from Granada FC), Josh THOMAS (Swansea City), Joe TAYLOR (Peterborough).