Wales call up Birmingham teenager Jordan James for Nations League games

Jordan James’ Welsh father Tony is a former Hereford player
Venue: King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels Date: Thursday, 22 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, BBC Sport website and app, plus live text online. Highlights on BBC One Wales from 23:15 BST and later on demand

Wales have called up teenage Birmingham City midfielder Jordan James for their Nations League games against Belgium and Poland on 22 and 25 September after injury ruled out Joe Allen.

Uncapped James, 18, has played for England Under-20s and was last week included in the Wales Under-21 squad.

Senior Wales boss Robert Page has now promoted James to his squad.

While a hamstring strain ruled out Allen, defender Ben Davies’ small leg fracture forced his absence.

Swansea’s Allen and Tottenham’s Davies picked up the injuries with their clubs.

Davies, 29, is expected to be out for around three weeks after suffering his injury in Spurs’ Champions League defeat by Sporting Lisbon.

Allen came off in Swansea’s 3-0 Championship win over Hull on Saturday.

Wales travel to Belgium on Thursday before hosting Poland three days later.

Spurs manager Antonio Conte has said Davies will not be available for Wales duty.

“He had an injury in his knee in the game against Sporting Lisbon, and he played with this injury,” Conte told Sky Sports.

“It is not a serious injury, I think (he will be back) after the international break because, with the national team, he is not available.

“But I think after the international break, he will be available for us.”

Allen, 32, missed the start of the season with a hamstring problem picked up on Wales duty in June.

But he has quickly established himself as one of Swansea’s key players having returned to the club after leaving Stoke City at the end of last season.

Davies’ absence and the loss of Allen are further blows to Wales manager Page, who is already planning to be without forward Gareth Bale to face Belgium.

Wales are also without injured midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Harry Wilson, plus goalkeeper Adam Davies.

Wales’ World Cup campaign begins against the USA on 21 November.

James has made 10 appearances for Birmingham this season and has previously represented Wales at Under 18 level. Born in Hereford, he qualifies for Wales via his father, former Newport County defender Tony. who also played for Hereford.

Wales sit bottom of League A Group 4 with one draw from four games, with results not helped by Page having to field largely second-string sides in two of those games as he prepared for what would turn out to be a historic World Cup play-off victory over Ukraine.

But that leaves Wales needing at least one win from these two fixtures if they are to remain in the top tier of the Nations League.


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