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James to captain Wales against Ukraine in Llanelli

Midfielder Angharad James will captain Wales in Friday's Euro 2025 qualifier against Ukraine in Llanelli.

The Seattle Reign player, who will win her 119th cap at Parc y Scarlets, says it is an “honour” to lead the team out but will support another captain if she does not get the role on a permanent basis.

Manager Rhian Wilkinson says “many players” will wear the armband before she makes a final decision, something James supports:

“It’s one of the biggest honours to captain your country, to lead the girls out”, said James, 29.

“It’s a proud moment for me and my family but it doesn't change anything for me."

“One thing I will say is that this group is full of leaders," added James.

"We've got leaders at every level, we've got youngsters that are coming through, we've got a really good senior group - a lot of which are captains back at their clubs.

“I think its a chance for everyone to have the opportunity to wear the armband, to express themselves and to become leaders in the group and the more leaders we can have the better chance we have of qualifying and being a better team, but it's an honour for me to wear the armband.

“Whatever decision Rhian makes she’ll have everyone's support and whoever that is will have everyone’s support too. It's not just that one person, it will be a collective push to be able to hopefully qualify and reach a major tournament."

Friday will not be James’ first outing as captain having led the team in the absence of the suspended Sophie Ingle during the 2-0 friendly defeat against the United States in San Jose, California in July 2023.

She captains a Wales team who currently sit top of their qualifying group for Euro 2025 after wins against Croatia and Kosovo.

“I have about 30 or 40 tickets that have been requested so they are coming in their numbers so it will be nice," James said.

“Away [in the USA] I got the opportunity to do so and it was a really proud moment but none of my family could make it so it will be really special to have them all there, whilst leading the team.

“I'm really excited and really positive for the game too, it's a game that I’m really looking forward to.

'Hugely deserving'

Manager Wilkinson has paid tribute to James’ leadership skills saying she is “hugely” deserving of the role.

But it is unclear whether she will wear the armband for the away game against Ukraine in Poland on Tuesday.

“There's absolutely scope for [James] longer term. Sophie [Ingle] has been captain for a long time, she continues to be a captain in this team, she is just not wearing the armband,” said Wilkinson.

“There are so many players who are deserving of the honour and who act as captains of this team, in and around the environment.

“I respect the armband too much and what Sophie did, to just give it to the next person. So many players will wear it in the next while and we’ll see what happens naturally without it being forced.

"I watch Angharad look after the young ones, inviting them into the groups, making sure they're comfortable and settled. She's a real leader for this group and is definitely deserving of the honour”.