Gareth Bale is one of Wales’ THREE stars in the race for a major World Cup play-off against Austria.

GARETH BALE is one of three big Welsh internationals to be cherished ahead of Thursday’s World Cup match.

The Dragons captain took part in a training session on Tuesday, giving a big boost ahead of the play-off semi-final against Austria in Cardiff.


Gareth Bale is recovering1 credit

But Bale, as well as Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampadu, had their workload carefully monitored by the fitness staff because they were in recovery mode.

Real Madrid superstar Bale missed Sunday’s El Clasico in a 4-0 victory over Barcelona after Carlo Ancelotti said he was not feeling well, while reports in Spain claimed that Bale was “ill back”.

Ampadu and Ramsey played for Venezia and Rangers respectively three days ago, but Wales didn’t take any chances before the decisive home game as they were in contention for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

During the warm-up, when the players were divided into groups of four, fitness coach Ronan Cavanagh said live on Wales’ Instagram, “Heal up guys, relax.”

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Bale, who has played just 77 minutes of club football for Real Madrid since playing against Real Betis on 28 August, replied “OK” to the instruction.

After back-to-back Euros, the 32-year-old is desperate to reach the Qatar final, but boss Robert Page faces a big dilemma as to how many minutes his talisman can give Wales, especially as a tie could go into extra time.

Bale returned after a two-month hiatus to win his 100th cap for Belarus with a 5–1 win in November. But the forward only lasted 45 minutes before suffering a calf injury.

Since then, his only matches have been against Villarreal before a three-minute Champions League cameo as a substitute away in the first leg of the round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain last month.


Ethan Ampadu Is Close To Full Fitness


Ethan Ampadu is close to full fitnessCredit: Reuters

Tottenham’s Ben Davies, 28, said: “It’s a huge boost to have a player like Gareth next to you.

“He looks great in training and if we can get something special from him on Thursday we will be thrilled.

“This is the type of match we all want to be in.

“We are very excited as a team. After the Euro, it seems that we have another big problem to overcome, but I am sure that we will manage.

“If we are at our best, we can get the job done.

“Going to the World Cup would be a special feeling.”

Fulham defender Neko Williams, 20, on loan from Liverpool, added: “Gareth looks fit and fit. As long as he feels ready, we all know what he’s capable of.”

Midfielder Ramsey scored his first Rangers goal in Sunday’s Scottish Premier League win over Dundee but, like Bale, the Juventus-loan man has struggled with injuries this season.

But Page’s boss had the luxury of having his entire squad of 26 come to practice.

Aaron Ramsey Scored His First Goal For The Rangers Over The Weekend.


Aaron Ramsey scored his first goal for the Rangers over the weekend.Credit: Willy Wass

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