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Joe Rodon ready for ‘brilliant challenge’ of marking Spurs colleague Harry Kane in Wales v England clash

28 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Wales’ Ben Davies (left), Gareth Bale and Joe Rodon during a Wales training session. Photo Nick Potts PA Images

Joe Rodon cannot wait for the “brilliant challenge” of tackling Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane in Wales’ make-or-break World Cup clash with England.

Centre-back Rodon says he has faced England captain Kane “maybe a million times in training” but never marked him in a competitive game.

That is set to come to an end at Doha’s Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday, with Wales needing to beat England for the first time in 38 years to be in with a chance of extending their World Cup stay into the knockout phase.

“Harry has been a top player for many years, one of the best in the world,” said Rodon, who joined Spurs from Swansea in 2020 and is currently on a season-long loan at French club Rennes.

“He is a brilliant finisher, both feet as well. He has scored many goals and is a world-class striker.

“I have trained and spent a couple of seasons with him and we all know how good he is.

“In a competitive game it is going to be another brilliant challenge, and one I am very excited about.

“Training with these players (at Spurs) for the last couple of seasons has improved me as a player a lot as well.”


Rodon has been tipped to become a future Wales captain after Gareth Bale leaves the international stage.

Bale even handed the 25-year-old the armband when he was substituted during a Nations League game against Finland in November 2020.

Rodon said: “It was an honour for me to receive that, especially off a player like him.

“But we have many leaders in this dressing room and that has been very important for us as a nation.

“Just being comfortable and confident in this environment and being a regular with the team is always going to give you that extra confidence.

“It is always lovely to be wanted. This for every player is a very nice feeling to have.”

‘My best’

Rodon’s struggle to nail down a first-team spot at Spurs has been in sharp contrast to his successful spell in France’s top flight.

He has made 14 appearances this season as Rennes have moved into the top three of Ligue 1 and reached the knockout stages of the Europa League.

“It never crossed my mind previously to play abroad in the past,” Rodon said. “But I have enjoyed it from the moment I walked through the doors.

“The French league is a very technical league, the club is in Europe, and playing against different teams in different countries is only going to make you better as a player.

“I have no idea (what the future holds). It is up to Rennes. All I can do is perform my best and we will see where it takes me.”

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