By Ewan Roberts
Sir Geoff Hurst has backed Roy Hodgson’s decision to appoint Wayne Rooney as captain of the England national team for their clash with San Marino.
Regular captain Steven Gerrard and his vice-captain Frank Lampard will both miss Friday night's Wembley clash through injury, with the Manchester United man handed the armband after impressing on his return from a gashed leg recently.
Rooney was sent off in his last qualification appearance for England after lashing out at Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic, but Hurst believes the role of captain, and becoming a father for a second time, will have a positive effect on the player.
"I think it’s a good choice," England's 1966 hat-trick hero told Goal.com.
"Even though he’s been around for such a long time, I think we all think of him as like a young newcomer but he’s actually 26.
“He has a tremendous amount of experience and he’s got 70 or so caps.
"I think the decision to make him captain is a good one, and it’s been a good week for him as he’s just found out he’s going to be a father again.
"It’s a fantastic week for the Rooney family and he deserves to be given the captaincy.
"But with that comes an added responsibility which I think he’ll thrive on and respond to."