NEWPORT County AFC academy graduate Regan Poole has won his first call-up to the senior Wales squad after fellow centre-back Chris Mepham was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Poole, who has won 19 caps at under-21 level, was initially selected for next week’s UEFA Under-21 Euro 2021 qualifier away to Moldova.

But the 21-year-old, who helped County to the League Two play-off final when he returned on loan last season, will now join Ryan Giggs’ senior squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers in Slovakia next Thursday and at home to Croatia on Sunday, October 13.

It’s a big vote of confidence following his release by Manchester United and summer move to League One MK Dons and under-21 manager Paul Bodin believes it’s well deserved.

“Regan’s doing really well, playing regularly for MK Dons in a fantastic stadium,” said Bodin.

“I watched him in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool and he did really well.

“I’ve known him for a long time and I actually played football with his dad back in our school days.

“Regan’s a good leader and he’s got a lot of experience for a young man. You forget how young he is sometimes.”

AFC Bournemouth defender Mepham has played in three matches for Wales in their qualification campaign and started in last month’s win over Azerbaijan.

Captain Ashley Williams could replace Mepham in the starting XI after his recall to the squad.