Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will captain England against San Marino in tomorrow night's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier at Wembley.
The 26-year-old has inherited the armband due to regular captain Steven Gerrard's suspension following his sending-off in the last qualifier against Ukraine and because of a knee injury suffered by official vice-captain Frank Lampard.
After that it was seen as a straight fight between Rooney and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart for the honour, and the
Rooney said at a press conference ahead of tomorrow's game: "It's a great honour, it's something I'm really proud of. 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."
It's a great honour, it's something I'm really proud of. It's a big challenge for myself.
England boss Roy Hodgson added: "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."
Hodgson was unwilling to offer any further insight into his team-sheet for tomorrow's meeting with the joint lowest-ranked team in the world. "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."