Monday, December 11, 2017

Rooney urges England youngsters to grasp opportunity

Captain Wayne Rooney has urged England’s young stars to grasp their opportunity in the friendly against France on Tuesday and stake a claim for a place in the Euro 2016 squad.

England will welcome Les Blues to Wembley Stadium in a match that is sure to be emotionally charged following the terror attacks in Paris on Friday, and Rooney is expecting the team’s youngsters to be given a run out against quality opposition.

Rooney’s Manchester United team-mate Jesse Lingard is among those hoping for game time after being handed a first call-up following injuries to Michael Carrick and Jamie Vardy on Sunday.

Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Eric Dier will hope for another chance having come off the bench in a 2-0 loss to Spain on Friday.

And Rooney – England’s all-time leading goal-scorer – is excited by the potential in the squad.

“I have said over the last 18 months I have been very excited by this team and obviously there are a lot more young players who have come into this squad and it is a great opportunity for them to represent England at such a young age,” Rooney said.

“So many young players starting the game is a big challenge against a good French team so we have to try and be together and put our game plan into effect as we know it is going to be a tough game.

“As England captain and an England fan I love the competition. To know the manager is going to have faith in the young players and will reward them, I think that it is great. 

“Personally I don’t think there is anything to gain from bringing someone in for one game and not looking to the future. It is great for the future of England and this game is a great opportunity for these young lads.”

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