CHRIS Mepham described the prospect of featuring in a World Cup this time next year as "amazing", as Wales learned their potential route to the tournament.

By courtesy of finishing second in their qualification group, behind Belgium, Wales have now entered the European play-offs.

Friday's draw has paired Rob Page's men with a home clash against Austria in March, with the winners then going on to face either Scotland or Ukraine, again at home.

Wales have only reached the World Cup finals once in their history, way back in 1958, but now are just two games away from returning for next winter's tournament in Qatar.

The Dragons have shot up the rankings in recent years, following an astonishing run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 and then reaching the last 16 of Euro 2020.

And Mepham, who helped Wales qualify for the play-offs and has 26 caps to his name having featured regularly during this summer's European Championship, is relishing the prospect of lining up at the World Cup next year.

He told the Daily Echo: "It would be amazing. I think certainly coming away from the Euros, the feeling everyone had was they kind of want more of it.

"Obviously a lot of build-up goes into tournament football and then one game and it’s over.

"Certainly for me going away it was an amazing experience and one that I want to experience and it was something that I want to experience more going forward.

"An opportunity for Wales to be in a World Cup is incredible.

"To think a fairly small nation, to be kind of competing against the biggest countries in the world in terms of football would be a massive honour and hopefully we can progress."

Wales ensured home advantage in the play-off semi-finals by holding Belgium to a 1-1 draw in Cardiff earlier this month, a game in which Mepham played the full 90 minutes.

Kevin de Bruyne opened the scoring for Belgium, only for former Dorchester Town striker Kieffer Moore to earn a valuable point.

"It was amazing," said Mepham when reflecting on that night.

"It was a difficult one, you’re kind of looking at Belgium at home and thinking, you know it is your game in hand, but at the same time I think playing Belgium home or away, it’s going to be a very tough game.

"You look at the players they’ve got and albeit they had a few injuries, but they’re still fielding a very good team, a very strong team. It was amazing to get the result we needed to obviously get us a home tie.

"I think it’s something we can take a lot of confidence from going forward."