Wayne Rooney to captain England against San Marino

 

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will captain England for tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier against San Marino.

Regular captain Steven Gerrard is suspended for the match against the European minnows, and with vice-captain Frank Lampard ruled out through injury, manager Roy Hodgson had to make a decision over who would lead out the team.

It appeared to be a choice between Rooney and goalkeeper Joe Hart, and it is the Manchester United striker who has been given the armband.

"It's a great honour, it's something I'm really proud of," Rooney said today.

"It's a big challenge for myself, I'm really looking forward to it and excited, and hopefully we can cap the day off with a good victory."

The experience of Rooney compared to Hart may have influenced the decision, with the United striker achieving 76 caps compared to Hart's 24.

Speaking this week, the Manchester City number one said he thought Rooney should get the armband.

"I've no idea but I'm pretty sure it will fall to Rooney. He is our star man with 10 million caps at the age of 26. I imagine he is a little bit further up the queue than me," he said.

"Of course I would [like to be captain], anyone would but that's life. I didn't go into goal thinking that I wanted to be captain. I just want to play. I'm happy to play and do my best for the team whether you've got the band or you haven't got the band. It is a great thing to play for your country. I really do mean that."

At today's press conference Hodgson talked up the Manchester United striker.

"I've enjoyed working with Wayne, we had a good Euros and I enjoyed working with him there.

"I was disappointed when he got that terrible gash and I was even worried it could rule him out of not only the September games, but also the October games.

"Luckily he's made a very quick recovery and now he's available for the games, and he'll certainly captain the team in the first one."

There is speculation that some senior players could be rested for tomorrow's game, but Hodgson was coy over his team selection.

"I haven't spoken to the players about the team," he said at the televised briefing.

"I guess Wayne Rooney realises he's starting the game because he's sitting alongside me as captain of the team.

"But I haven't told any other players who'll be playing and who won't be. Although I've got a pretty good idea in my own mind what I'm going to do, I can't divulge that on television until I've spoken to the players.

"It might be a question of utilising the squad in a different way because we have a very important game in Poland on Tuesday.

"Knowing that whatever team I choose at Wembley is likely to be able to win that game, how many players do I spare and keep fitter and fresher for the game on Tuesday? That's been the decision to be made."

Rooney has captained the England side just once before, in a 1-0 friendly defeat against Brazil in Doha in 2009.

It is likely that this fixture will end in a more positive result. San Marino are ranked 207th by Fifa, making them the joint worst side in the world. The two previous fixtures between the sides ended 7-1 and 6-0.

Despite San Marino's lowly position, Wembley is a sell-out, meaning Rooney will lead the side out in front of 90,000 people.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions