Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard to captain England

 

Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard will captain England in their next two games unless Ashley Cole agrees to lead the side in recognition of his 100th cap.

Regular skipper Steven Gerrard misses the games against Republic of Ireland and Brazil with a shoulder injury.

Ireland's return to Wembley

England's Lee Dixon

England have not hosted the Republic of Ireland at Wembley since the sides met in a European Championship qualifier in March 1991. Arsenal right-back Lee Dixon opened the scoring with his only international goal, before his former team-mate Niall Quinn equalised for the away side

"Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney are captains-elect," said England manager Roy Hodgson, who revealed that Cole had been keen to "stay in the shadows".

Uncapped Reading keeper Alex McCarthy, 23, has received his first call-up.

England host the Irish at Wembley on 29 May in their first meeting there since a European Championship qualifier in March 1991.

Hodgson's men will then travel to Rio de Janeiro to face five-time World Cup winners Brazil on 2 June at the iconic Maracana Stadium, which recently reopened after a three-year renovation.

The stadium, where a record 200,000 people watched the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay, has been refurbished ahead of next year's World Cup.

Chelsea left-back Cole, 32, will be presented with the 100th cap he won against Brazil in February before the clash against Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland side.

England coach Roy Hodgson and Wayne Rooney

Roy Hodgson could appoint Wayne Rooney as captain for the friendlies

Hodgson said Cole could skipper the side at Wembley to mark the occasion but added he may be a reluctant leader.

"We haven't named the captains before because we usually have Steven Gerrard available," said Hodgson.

"I will speak to Ashley Cole. Most players who earn 100 caps are given the captaincy, but last time I spoke to Ashley he was more than happy to stay in the shadows. I will speak to him again."

Should Lampard captain England, it would cap a marvellous fortnight for the midfielder, who signed a new one-year deal at Chelsea shortly before the England squad was announced. The contract extension came after the 34-year-old helped the Blues win the Europa League and became their all-time record goalscorer.

Alex McCarthy factfile

Alex McCarthy
  • Born: 3 December 1989 in Guildford
  • Reading debut: v Watford on 19 February 2011
  • Reading appearances: 29
  • Other clubs: Cambridge United, Aldershot, Yeovil, Brentford, Leeds United, Ipswich Town (all loan)
  • Career appearances: 97

Hodgson insists former England Under-21 international McCarthy deserves his call-up after impressing in his 13 appearances for the Royals this season.

"We have not had a lot of chances to use Jack Butland, who came with us to the Euros, in the last few months because the Under-21s are preparing for the important tournament in Israel," said Hodgson.

"We have had a very good look at Celtic's Fraser Forster, and having seen Alex McCarthy, and read reports, it will be a good chance to have a look at him. He deserves it because he has been playing well."

West Ham striker Andy Carroll, 24, has been recalled for the first time since October's World Cup qualifier in Poland, where he was an unused substitute.

Fellow forward Rooney, 27, was dropped for Sir Alex Ferguson's final game at Old Trafford after asking to leave Manchester United.

Hodgson is unable to call on Rooney's Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand. The 34-year-old defender announced his international retirement on Wednesday.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Alex McCarthy.

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott.

Forwards: Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck