By Hannah Blackwell
Gemma Grainger has named uncapped duo Lauren Thomas and Mary McAteer in the Wales squad for the opening matches of the UEFA Women’s Nations League.
Wrexham born Thomas of Blackburn Rovers has received her first senior team call-up for the games away to Iceland (Friday 22 September) and home to Denmark (Tuesday 26 September).
In a Wales squad for the second time, but looking for her first appearance is McAteer of Sunderland.
Jess Fishlock, Sophie Ingle and Rachel Rowe have all been included after missing the 2-0 friendly defeat to the USA in July.
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) September 13, 2023
USA-based Fishlock and Rower were both injured for that game, while captain Ingle was suspended.
Hannah Cain misses out due to injury.
The fixtures are the start of the first Women’s Nations League competition, where Wales will face Iceland, Denmark and Germany in League A.
The competition is also a potential opportunity for Grainger’s side to guarantee a qualification place for the 2025 Women’s EURO competition.
💬 "Do you know what? I had a feeling …"
— Blackburn Rovers WFC (@RoversWFC) September 11, 2023
In the second international window, Grainger’s side will host Iceland on 1 December at Cardiff City Stadium, then face Germany at Swansea.com Stadium on 5 December in Group A3.
“We know the Cardiff City Stadium is a fortress for us,” Grainger said.
“Hopefully we can build on the attendances we have set there over the last few years when we face Iceland.
“It’s been a few years since we’ve played at the Swansea.com Stadium, but I can’t wait to face Germany there in December in what will be a great test for us.
“The Red Wall means so much for us and I’m positive we will see them come and support us in their numbers for both matches.”
Lauren Thomas. ⚡️
— Blackburn Rovers WFC (@RoversWFC) September 10, 2023
Wales: Laura O’SULLIVAN (Cardiff City Ladies), Olivia CLARK (Watford – On loan from Bristol City), Safia MIDDLETON-PATEL (Manchester United), Rhiannon ROBERTS (Real Betis), Charlie ESTCOURT (Reading), Hayley LADD (Manchester United), Josie GREEN (Leicester City), Gemma EVANS (Manchester United), Lily WOODHAM (Reading), Esther MORGAN (Heart of Midlothian), Ella POWELL (Bristol City), Sophie INGLE (Chelsea), Angharad JAMES (Tottenham Hotspur), Anna FILBEY (Crystal Palace), Jess FISHLOCK (OL Reign), Ceri HOLLAND (Liverpool), Ffion MORGAN (Bristol City), Megan WYNNE (Southampton), Rachel ROWE (Rangers), Carrie JONES (Bristol City), Kayleigh GREEN (Charlton Athletic), Elise HUGHES (Crystal Palace), Mary MCATEER (Sunderland), Chloe WILLIAMS (Blackburn Rovers), Alice GRIFFITHS (Southampton), Lauren THOMAS (Blackburn Rovers).