JAYNE Ludlow would have “fallen off my chair” if anyone had told her Wales could qualify for next year’s World Cup with a win in their last group game against England.

The women’s national team boss, like many others outside the Welsh camp, is surprised by just how well the qualifying campaign for France 2019 has gone.

Wales know victory over Phil Neville’s side on August 31 will see them reach the finals for the first time in the country’s history.

They put themselves in position to claim the one automatic qualification berth from Group 1 thanks to a 3-0 defeat of Russia in Newport on Tuesday.

Ludlow was “extremely proud” of her team’s effort and praised her players for their consistency throughout the qualifiers.

“The result is more than we asked for,” she said. “We’ve been the queens of the 1-0 so to get three, it’s absolutely fantastic, it’s what the girls have deserved.

“I have been saying all the way through this campaign, we are still very much a developing team, we’ve taken huge strides each game we’ve played and are learning each time we step on the pitch,” she said.

“They are putting so much time and effort into this programme, they are desperate to achieve and you know they have achieved.

“So they should be extremely proud of what they have done so far.

“Sometimes the smaller nation steps out and performs extremely well and proves themselves and that’s what we have done.

“You know no-one expected us to be anywhere near this position come the end of the seven games, so for us we’ve proved some doubters wrong.

”And we’ve proved some doubters within our own group wrong because they’ve never been able to perform when the pressure was on and we are actually showing that it’s changing.”

Commenting further on the chance of doing what no other Welsh women’s side has ever done with a win against England, she added: “If someone had said that to me at the start when the draw was made, I would have fallen off my chair.

“We are happy where we are at. Can we get better? Yes, and if we do then we’ll challenge anybody on our day.”