"He's slotted into the centre-back role alongside Gabbidon and they would seem to be in the driving seat in terms of the future centre-back pairing. But, for the time being, I want the pair of them to take on more responsibility.
"In Gabbidon's case, he was fortunate he had people like Gary Speed and Andy Melville around him when he started with the senior Wales side. That would've made his adaptation to the international scene a lot easier.
"But, with a number of players having retired, that situation has changed. Danny now has to take on a certain amount of responsibility himself.
"So too does Collins. Taking on the under-21 captaincy will give him that extra responsibility in a competitive match.
"In turn, that will increase the competitiveness for places in the senior side."
James Collins will skipper the U21's against Germany in a world cup qualifier from Wrexham on February 8th.