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Liverpool skipper looking to lead his nation to glory...

Steven Gerrard has declared he is ready to captain England at this summer’s World Cup after Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of the tournament.

Gerrard was vice-captain going into the tournament and is prepared to step up to the plate.

“Every player in the squad wants Rio to be fit and available and leading us at the World Cup," he told reporters

"But I will be ready to lead the country if called upon."

This comes after England captain Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of the World Cup after picking up a knee injury in England’s first training session in South Africa and Gerrard reaffirmed his commitment to England and the World Cup campaign.

"There is still a lot of ambition in myself to go and achieve big things,” he said.

"The biggest thing you can do as a player is to win the World Cup so that's the challenge. The hunger [to win the World Cup] is still there.

"The World Cup is the pinnacle for any player. It's a fantastic stage to go and do well on. That's the challenge for me."

With Ferdinand now out of the World Cup, Michael Dawson, who was included in the 30-man provisional squad, will join up with the England team in South Africa.

England’s World Cup preparations are now underway and the team’s first World Cup fixture against the USA is just eight days away.

England face a reasonable group with matches against Algeria, the USA and Slovenia and Fabio Capello’s team will be looking to progress further.

No trip to South Africa is complete without a visit to its most beautiful and sunniest city. Durban offers much more than sandy beaches, safaris, casinos and the World Cup, for information on what to do and see, please click here.

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