England Women boosted by return of Steph Houghton and Jordan Nobbs
The Lionesses are ranked number two in the world behind the United States who beat them in the final of the SheBelieves Cup.
Phil Neville has been boosted by the return of Steph Houghton and Jordan Nobbs for England Women’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Manchester City defender Houghton and Arsenal midfielder Nobbs missed the recent SheBelieves Cup campaign in the United States through injury but are back in the squad for next month’s Group One matches.
England host Wales at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium on Friday April 6, before travelling to Zenica the following Tuesday.
Neville has also added Reading goalkeeper Mary Earps and Arsenal forward Beth Mead to his squad, who are now ranked second in the world behind the USA team who beat them 1-0 in the final game of the SheBelieves Cup.
England boss Neville said: “I am really pleased for the players that their hard work has been recognised in the new rankings.
“To get to second in the world is a wonderful achievement, but if we want to take the last – and biggest – step to become number one then we have to deliver in matches like the two we have coming up.
“Because of what’s at stake, they are more important than the SheBelieves and we will prepare accordingly.
“Wales will be my first competitive match in charge and it will be an incredible honour to walk out at a packed Premier League ground with this group of players.
“We are delighted to have Steph and Jordan back, but we also want to keep giving opportunities to the next generation coming through.”
Neville has also brought in Sunderland coach Melanie Copeland to assist him as Mo Marley is focusing on the Under-20 World Cup this summer.