NEWPORT County AFC prospect Lewis Collins will go from Wembley to international duty next week after realising the need to 'get his head down' and graft.

The 20-year-old has been an influential figure in the Exiles promotion push and is likely to lead the line in the League Two play-off final against Morecambe on Monday.

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Collins will hope to head up to League One with County and then go off to win a second cap for Wales Under-21s after being included for the Euro 2023 qualifier against Moldova a week on Friday.

The forward has impressed with his energy and work rate in the League Two run-in but at the start of the year he was on the fringes and failed to shine on an international training camp.

Lewis Collins scored his first senior goal for Newport against Scunthorpe

Lewis Collins scored his first senior goal for Newport against Scunthorpe

"I brought Lewis into the camp when he was out of the first team frame," said Wales Under-21s boss Paul Bodin, who gave Collins his first cap against Belgium in October.

"He is a player with ability and great potential and, to be fair he did okay back then, but didn't do as well as I thought that he could.

"But Lewis went back to Newport, got his head down and got himself into the first team. Now he is making a really positive impact.

"He has got good ability, can go either way, has great pace and can score goals. He causes problems for the defence with his pace and energy. He has been tremendous."

Manager Michael Flynn and right-hand man Wayne Hatswell have reaped the rewards of moving Collins from out wide to up top with Padraig Amond.

The prospect, who turned 20 at the start of the month, scored his first senior goal against Scunthorpe, grabbed the second in the 2-0 win against Forest Green in the first leg of the play-off semi-final and then created Nicky Maynard's last-gasp winner in the return fixture.

Lewis Collins of Newport County controls the ball

Lewis Collins of Newport County controls the ball

"Look at Newport's bench and Dominic Telford isn't even on it," said Bodin. "That shows how well Lewis has done and even though there were a number of substitutions throughout the game, Lewis kept his place and moved out wide.

"His versatility will help but ultimately as a player you want to nail down a position to make a mark in the game.

"Lewis has got very good ability, his brother (Aaron, the Forest Green forward) is a bit more mature in terms of physicality but Lewis is filling out.

"He is getting stronger and will be able to make more of an impact in time and as he gains more experience."

Bodin was at the New Lawn on Sunday and the former Wales defender, twice a Wembley winner with Swindon, hopes that County finish the job on Monday.

Wales Under 21s manager Paul Bodin

Wales Under 21s manager Paul Bodin

"Fair play to Newport, they showed great character and spirit," he said. "I never saw that game coming after the first leg but thankfully both Newport and Swansea are at Wembley this weekend.

"I was lucky enough to go there twice in play-offs, 1990 when we beat Sunderland 1-0 and unfortunately got demoted because of financial irregularities.

"Three years later we went back and were 3-0 up against Leicester and we all thought we were there, then all of a sudden it was 3-3.

"I got the opportunity to score a penalty, we won 4-3 and those memories live with you forever, so these Newport boys have got to enjoy it.

"It's been a long season and if they can just get over the line and beat Morecambe it will be an incredible achievement for Newport when you consider where they were not too long ago.

"As a former club of mine, where I started my career, I always look and enjoy with interest how well they've done in recent years under Flynny."