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European Qualifiers Group E

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European Qualifiers Group E

Rooney set to lead England

Roy Hodgson has revealed that he is poised to hand Wayne Rooney the England captaincy.

Last Updated: 16/05/13 at 16:13 Post Comment

Wayne Rooney: Expected to stand in for Steven Gerrard as England skipper

Wayne Rooney: Expected to stand in for Steven Gerrard as England skipper

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The striker has endured a turbulent time after handing in a transfer request at Manchester United, but he is now the front-runner to lead England out in their Wembley friendly against the Republic of Ireland on 29 May.

With regular skipper Steven Gerrard sidelined following shoulder surgery, Hodgson is likely to give Rooney the armband ahead of Chelsea pair Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.

"He knows he is right up there," said Hodgson. "He has captained England once for me, at home to San Marino.

"I know he enjoyed that experience and I am pretty sure there are times when he will captain England again."

Hodgson also hopes Rooney's future will be sorted out sooner rather than later after his transfer request was rejected by United.

"There are rumours circulating about whether he wants a move and if Manchester United are prepared to sell him," added the England boss.

"I am not prepared to start making public statements about what I think is best for him.

"It's a matter for Wayne and Manchester United. I'm sure it will all get sorted between them. As far as I am concerned, it's about what he does for England."

Hodgson is also confident that Rooney will remain fully focused on England despite the impending birth of his second child.

"I was concerned but Wayne was at great pains to assure me that he was really looking forward to playing for England and it's something that's at top of his agenda," said Hodgson.

"That's enough for me. I've no reason to doubt him."

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