SWINDON Town star Nile Ranger has denied an accusation of drink-driving at 7am on the M4 in Wales the morning after appearing as a substitute in Swindon's 1-0 loss to Oldham.

Former Newcastle United star Ranger, 22, pleaded not guilty to drink-driving - just a week after being cleared of a rape charge.

A court heard striker Ranger was arrested on the busy M4 the morning after playing for his new club Swindon Town.

He appeared in court accused of having 50 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 35.

Ranger was wearing a black studded top, jeans and trainers when he appeared at Newport magistratates court in South Wales.

He was arrested at 7.15am on February 2 at junction 23 on the M4 near the Magor Services as he drove east towards the Severn Bridge.

A letter from his Newcastle-based solicitors said Ranger was pleading not guilty because he "wouldn't have driven the car over the limit or in the manner stated by police."

The firm said an expert would be called to give evidence about the breath test taken by Gwent Police at the roadside.

Ranger, who now plays for League One team Swindon, was told he will stand trial in May.

District Judge Richard Williams told him: "You will stand trial in this court and, if found guilty, you could receive a jail sentence and disqualification from driving."

Ranger was released on bail and pulled on a baseball cap as he left the court with a friend.

The court heard Ranger had failed to turn at Cwmbran magistrates for the first hearing on February 19 because he believed he had to go to Cardiff.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed a warrant was issued after Ranger failed to show for the court appearance on February 19.

But the CPS dropped the charge of failing to appear in court yesterday.

Ranger - who was last week cleared of raping a woman in a hotel in the Jesmond area of Newcastle - was arrested by Gwent Police early on a Sunday morning.

The day before he had played for Swindon Town - coming on as a 59th minute substitute in the home game lost 0-1 to Oldham.

Cwmbran is around 50 miles from the ground of Swindon Town FC where Ranger is now registered.

Ranger’s court appearance comes just days after he was cleared of rape and walked free from Newcastle Crown Court at the end of a week-long trial.