Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell also sidelined by Stuart Pearce for Olympics


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The Independent Online

The Everton and England Under-21 midfielder Jack Rodwell has been left out of the Team GB Olympic squad by manager Stuart Pearce, another omission after David Beckham revealed yesterday that he too had not been included in the 18-man group, which has not yet been announced.

Pearce's decision to leave out Beckham, despite including the 37-year-old in his 35-man shortlist this month, captured the headlines yesterday, with the three players over the age of 23 permitted under the rules set to be Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards. Beckham released a statement yesterday, saying that he was "very disappointed" to be left out.

Rodwell, 21, had been one of the faces of the Team GB squad, posing in the Stella McCartney-designed Adidas Team GB strip during last season. He has been plagued by hamstring problems, however, having won his first England caps against Spain and Sweden in November.

Chris Smalling and Kyle Walker, who were kept out the Euro 2012 squad by injury, will also miss out. Their non-availability is what is understood to have directed Pearce towards selecting Richards ahead of Beckham, in order to give himself more defensive cover.

Among the under-23 players, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale are expected to be selected by Pearce when he submits his final 18 to the British Olympic Association.