Rio leads England in Paris

England coach Fabio Capello has appointed Rio Ferdinand as captain for tomorrow evening's friendly international with France in Paris.

The Manchester United defender takes over from Steven Gerrard, who led the side out in Capello's first match in charge against Switzerland at Wembley last month.

John Terry, who had been appointed as skipper by previous head coach Steve McClaren, is back in the squad against the French after missing the 2-1 win over Switzerland through injury.

But Capello is maintaining his policy of looking at other potential leaders within his squad before deciding on a permanent appointment for the World Cup qualifiers, which get under way in September.

It represents a major turnaround for Ferdinand, who only four years ago received an eight-month ban from the Football Association after failing to attend a drugs test at United's Carrington training ground.

That resulted in him missing the European Championship finals in Portugal.

But Capello has given the clearest indication that will not count against the former West Ham and Leeds player, who has already publicly stated his desire to lead his country.

An FA statement read: "Fabio Capello has confirmed that Rio Ferdinand will captain England against France tomorrow night in Paris.

"Capello has confirmed this continues his policy of rotating the captaincy between players in the friendly matches before confirming a permanent captain for the World Cup qualifying games."

The Italian will hold a press conference tonight in Paris, with Ferdinand also available to the media.