PEMBROKESHIRE’S Angharad James will take her place in the 26-player Wales for Gemma Grainger’s first matches in charge - against Canada on Friday, April 9, and Denmark on Tuesday, April 13.

James, a former pupil at Ysgol y Preseli, Crymych, made headlines last month by signing for North Carolina Courage, and is set to leave Reading to join the American club at the end of the season.

The Haverfordwest-born Welsh international, with 83 caps to her name, signed for Kelly Chambers’ Reading back in July of 2019 from fellow Barclays FA Women’s Super League side Everton.

The midfielder, a mainstay of the Wales team, hopes moving to the USA will not have a significant impact on her international career.

"Playing for Wales is the best feeling in the world, so I had to make sure I was allowed to come back for every camp." said James on signing for Courage last month.

"Thankfully my manager over there wants me to play for Wales. He said 'I wouldn't want you to miss one camp'.

"Obviously if it's a training camp and we've got games over there, with the flight times and everything, there might be camps that I miss.

"But as of now I am thinking I will be back for every camp. Putting on the Welsh jersey is the most important thing in my career."

With Grainger less than a fortnight into the Wales role, she has relied on staff involved in February’s training camp to select the squad, as she prepares to face two of the world’s top ranked teams.

Reading defender Bethan Roberts earns her first senior call-up, while Liverpool striker Ceri Holland receives her first full call-up after joining the squad halfway through last month’s training camp.

Holland joins the squad on the back of winning the Championship Player of the Month award for her club in the English FA’s Women’s Championship, which is represented by several senior players.

“With the squad needing submitting only two days into the job, it was really important for me to utilize the existing staff from the February camp to select the squad,” said Grainger.

“We want to play the higher ranked nations, and there’s no better test as we look to prepare for the World Cup qualifying campaign and the next four years.”

The matches will be a key part of Cymru’s preparation for the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign, with the draw taking place on Friday 30 April.

Grainger’s reign will get underway against Canada at the Leckwith Stadium on Friday 9 April (Ko 6pm) whilst the match at Denmark will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday.

WALES: Laura O’Sullivan (Cardiff City Ladies), Olivia Clark (Coventry United), Poppy Soper (Plymouth Argyle), Rhiannon Roberts (Liverpool), Gemma Evans (Bristol City), Maria Francis-Jones (Cardiff City Ladies), Charlie Estcourt (London Bees), Hayley Ladd (Manchester United), Josie Green (Tottenham Hotspur), Elise Hughes (Blackburn Rovers- On loan from Everton), Anna Filbey (Celtic- On loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Sophie Ingle (Chelsea), Angharad James (Reading), Jess Fishlock (Reading- On loan from OL Reign), Carrie Jones (Manchester United), Kayleigh Green (Brighton & Hove Albion), Natasha Harding (Reading), Rachel Rowe (Reading), Helen Ward (Watford), Lily Woodham (Reading), Georgia Walters (Blackburn Rovers), Ffion Morgan (Crystal Palace), Esther Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur), Ceri Holland (Liverpool), Bethan Roberts (Reading), Kylie Nolan (Cardiff City Ladies).