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Rooney named new England captain

The Manchester United striker will lead his country during the Euro 2016 qualification campaign after the retirements of veteran stars Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been named the new England captain by manager Roy Hodgson.

Rooney was recently handed the armband at Old Trafford by new boss Louis van Gaal, and will now take over from Steven Gerrard as skipper of his country.

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Gerrard announced his retirement from international football following this summer's World Cup in Brazil and fellow veterans Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have also ended their Three Lions careers in recent months.

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and Chelsea defender Gary Cahill had been mooted as contenders to replace Gerrard, but Hodgson has selected the most experienced player in his latest squad.

"I gave it a lot of thought but Wayne is an obvious choice," Hodgson told reporters. "He certainly deserves it. His commitment to the cause, his experience, the fact he’s captained England in the past, and now of course he has the responsibility at Manchester United, all those factors weighed in in my thought process.

"I had a long conversation with him. And he’s prepared to accept the pressures the England captaincy can bring. And that’s quite a big thing to ensure that the person is willing to take that enormous responsibility."

Rooney has made 95 appearances for his country - more than Hart and Cahill combined - since making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2003 and is England's top active goalscorer with 40 goals.

He is 20 games behind the Three Lions' all-time most-capped outfield player, David Beckham, and 30 behind the outright leader Peter Shilton.

Rooney could make his first appearance as captain in the friendly against Norway at Wembley before England takes on Switzerland in the first fixture of its Euro 2016 qualification campaign.

The forward has started two games as England captain to this point - a 1-0 defeat against Brazil in Qatar in 2009 and a 5-0 victory over San Marino at Wembley in 2012.