Jack Colback, Calum Chambers, Danny Rose and Fabian Delph are included in a new-look 22-man party - captained by Manchester United striker Rooney - for next month's friendly against Norway and the European qualifier against Switzerland.
Tottenham winger Andros Townsend returns after missing what proved a miserable World Cup through injury, while there is also a place for Everton's 20-year-old defender John Stones.
Chambers has caught the eye at Arsenal since his £16million move from Southampton and has earned a call-up despite the concerns of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
Danny Rose has been rewarded for his good early-season form with Tottenham and Fabian Delph comes into the squad having made an impact at Aston Villa, but Colback's inclusion is more of a surprise.
The Newcastle midfielder has rarely been mentioned as a possible candidate for England duty, but Hodgson's hand has been forced by a series of injuries.
Kyle Walker (pelvis), Ross Barkley (knee), Theo Walcott (knee), Glen Johnson (thigh), Luke Shaw (hamstring), Michael Carrick (ankle), Jon Flanagan (knee), Adam Lallana (knee), Chris Smalling (groin), Kieran Gibbs (hamstring), Jay Rodriguez (knee) and Andy Carroll (ankle) are all missing through injury.
Hodgson's latest crop - shorn of now-retired Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole - will meet on Sunday night as they prepare for a new European qualifying campaign with Wednesday's friendly against Norway at Wembley.
The England boss admitted injuries had influenced his thinking but insisted he was content to reshape his side with further fresh talent as he looks to the future.
"I don't see any reason for us to be fearful in any way; on the other hand I think there will be exciting and, to some extent, anxious moments for us all to see how these players can step up," he said at a press conference on Thursday.
"Memories stay with you - we were so bitterly disappointed at the way we we exited the World Cup - but I was very excited about the prospect of this England group before the World Cup and even more so now, perhaps.
"These players have got to do the job because they don't have the senior figures to lead them. I think they're good enough to play for England as the manager and the coaches think they're good enough to play for England.
"Now they need to put on the shirt and the boots and go out and show they're good enough."
Goalkeepers: Forster (Southampton), Foster (West Brom), Hart (Manchester City)
Defenders: Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Chambers (Arsenal), Jagielka (Everton), Jones (Manchester United), Rose (Tottenham), Stones (Everton)
Midfielders: Colback (Newcastle), Delph (Aston Villa), Henderson (Liverpool), Milner (Manchester City), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Sterling (Liverpool), Townsend (Tottenham), Wilshere (Arsenal)
Strikers: Lambert (Liverpool), Rooney (Manchester United), Sturridge (Liverpool), Welbeck (Manchester United).