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Natasha Harding will captain Wales in the absence of the injured Sophie Ingle for their Women’s Euro 2021 qualifier in Belarus on Tuesday, 8 October.

The game in Barysaw will be the first time in four years that Wales will be without the defender.

Ingle has been replaced in the squad by Cardiff City forward Grace Horrell, 17.

But with midfielder Jess Fishlock also out injured, it has left Wales manager Jayne Ludlow without arguably her two best players.

However, midfielder Rachel Rowe is available again after a year out because of an ACL injury.

“With Jess picking up an ACL and Rachel Rowe missing the first two, Rachel then came back and then Sophie got injured,” Reading striker Harding said.

“So things aren’t going our way at the moment but we have to make the best of what we can.

“If people have seen her (Ingle) play for over the last few years, she’s done an incredible job. Whenever she doesn’t play they lose, so I think that says it all.

“She’ll probably drop me a message or I’ll drop her a message when the nerves are kicking in and I don’t know what to say in the team talk.”

Wales go into the game off the back of a disappointing draw against Northern Ireland when they conceded a late goal, but Harding says it is a chance to bounce back:

“Within the camp we have expectations and we have standards and we didn’t meet that,” she added.

“It was a wake-up call and we have to concentrate on every single game and we can’t get anything less than three points on Tuesday.”

Wales squad: Laura O’Sullivan (Cardiff City Ladies), Claire Skinner (Cardiff City Ladies), Hayley Ladd ( Women), Loren Dykes (Bristol City Women), Gemma Evans (Bristol City Women), Rhiannon Roberts ( FC Women), Charlie Estcourt (Charlton Athletic Women – on loan from Reading FC Women), Anna Filbey ( Women), Angharad James (Reading FC Women), Elise Hughes ( Ladies), Rachel Rowe (Reading FC Women), Natasha Harding (Reading FC Women), Emma Jones(Lewes FC Women), Megan Wynne ( Women), Helen Ward (Watford FC Ladies), Kayleigh Green (Brighton & Hove Albion Women), Josie Green ( Hotspur Women), Nadia Lawrence (Cardiff City Ladies), Georgia Walters (Tranmere Rovers), Grace Horrell (Cardiff City Ladies).


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