Despite bringing trophies to Manchester United and Liverpool during their club careers, Rooney and Gerrard have failed to replicate that success on the international stage, to the disappointment of England fans.
However, the 65-year-old coach states while the Anfield captain will be 34 at the next tournament, he has "world-class ability" - and says his Red Devils rival is a player who can "decide games."
"Wayne [Rooney] is a great player, a player who decides games," he told the Daily Mail. "Yet he would be the first to admit that he has unfinished business for England at a major championship - Steven Gerrard comes into that category, too."
"[Gerrard] will be very important, because of his playing ability, because of his tournament experience, which he can pass on to younger players, and because of his captaincy qualities."
Hodgson believes the Anfield skipper still has a lot to offer the national side, and can be a boost in terms of both his skill and temperament: "In his best moments, he has world-class ability, which he has shown for the national team on many occasions. With 19 months to go before the World Cup, we have to hope he can keep fit and retain his great athleticism."
Hodgson continued: "If so, it's going to be fantastic to have him with us. He would be 34 but that's not a great age for a footballer any more and Liverpool are managing him well.
"He is a captain who cares, one willing to spend time with other players, and he is not part of any clique. He transcends, to some extent, all of that."
England are currently second in their World Cup qualifying group, with six more matches to negotiate successfully in order to reach Brazil in 2014.
And Hodgson stated it was important to "dispel the myth that players don't care" after taking the job earlier in 2012 amid accusations of the squad being content to fail for England: "I could have been tempted, especially after the criticism that followed some major tournaments, to believe that the players didn't care that much about England and that their thoughts were elsewhere.
"But it was really pleasant to find that nothing could be further from the truth. I know I cause disappointment when I leave anyone out of a friendly as I take the opportunity to look at other players," he added.
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