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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Rio cleared for England squad

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand will join up with the England squad on Monday.

Last Updated: 16/03/13 at 23:25 Post Comment

Sir Alex Ferguson: Has given Rio Ferdinand permission to join up with England

Sir Alex Ferguson: Has given Rio Ferdinand permission to join up with England

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The 34-year-old earned his first England call-up under manager Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro later this month.

It was suggested that he could yet turn down the chance to represent his country again for the first time since June 2011, either in response to previous omissions by Hodgson or to appease Ferguson and prolong his club career.

However, speaking after United's 1-0 win over Reading, Ferguson responded with a brief "yes" when asked if Ferdinand would join up with England.

Ferdinand was key in United's win over Reading that stretched their lead in the title race to 15 points over City, the defender's surging run teeing up Wayne Rooney to score the only goal of the game.

"Rio has always had that ability to break forward into midfield with his ability on the ball," said Ferguson.

"Obviously he doesn't do it as often as he used to but he did it today and it got us the goal."

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