Dan Harding has been called into the England under-21 squad for Tuesday's friendly with Ukraine.

The news came at the end of a traumatic week for the 20-year-old who has come through Albion's youth ranks.

Former Albion boss Peter Taylor, now the England under-21 coach, has named the versatile leftback in his party of 26 for the game at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, and Harding will join up with the squad tomorrow.

Harding said: "I found out yesterday afternoon when someone from the FA called me. They had warned me there was a good chance I could be in.

"I was a bit shocked but it's a really nice feeling. I told my dad and mum on Thursday but it wasn't final then so I am just really happy they have confirmed it."

Harding, suspended for today's match with Coventry, will travel to Middlesbrough this evening.

He added: "They are sending a car to pick me up from my house and take me to Heathrow. It's going to be an exciting time."

Harding is one of seven new faces in the squad, which includes Norwich striker David Bentley, Aston Villa's Carlton Cole, Arsenal's Jermaine Pennant and James Milner of Newcastle.

The defender made his Albion debut as a substitute against Norwich at the beginning of the 2002-03 season but it was last year when he really came to the fore, coming into the team in February when Kerry Mayo was suspended and holding his place up to the play-off final at Cardiff when he showed maturity beyond his years.

The last Albion player to win England international recognition was Bobby Zamora, who won six under-21 caps a couple of years ago, four as substitute.

In the past, Peter Ward, Steve Foster, Andy Ritchie, Gary Stevens and Terry Connor have all played for England under-21s while with Albion. Goalkeeper Perry Digweed was called up three times but had to withdraw on each occasion.

Harding has endured a disappointing start to the new season. He was responsible for Reading's third goal last Saturday before conceding a penalty and being sent off against Plymouth in midweek.