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Botham's Welsh option
January 17, 2000

Liam Botham, son of England's most famous cricketer Ian, is to be picked for Wales' training squad.

The Cardiff wing is English but would qualify to play for Wales in November, and that would be the first step on the road to Botham donning the red jersey.

Botham, 22, would prefer to play for England, but Wales coach Graham Henry hopes the fact he has so far been ignored by Clive Woodward will work in their favour.

Henry names his Six Nations training squad tomorrow and has confirmed Botham will be among the 70-plus players.

Henry told BBC Breakfast News: "We are going to include him if he wants in the trials in two weeks' time.

"Playing in a trial does not stop him playing for anyone else. It is only once you have played for the A team or the full team you cannot switch.

"But he's making the move in that direction."

England coach Woodward insists he is keeping an eye on Botham's progress and although the winger would preferto play for the country of his birth he is refusing to rule anything out.

Botham, the 6ft 1in and 14st 9lb threequarter who previously played for West Hartlepool, said: "I am still English, so that's who I want to play for but we will have to see what happens."

Liam's father Ian said, "It's a great situation for a youngster to be in. I'm his dad and manager and I shall be advising him to take his time over this decision.

"He's very young but he knows his own mind. Should he play for England or Wales? That's up to him."

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