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Wayne Rooney will take England captain role after coming off the bench against USA


Wayne Rooney will take the captain’s armband when he comes on to make his final international appearance against the USA at Wembley on Thursday.

Fabian Delph will start the match as the team captain before handing the armband to Rooney, who will wear the No 10 shirt.

Asked if he was planning on passing the armband to Rooney, Delph joked: “I probably won’t get the armband again, so probably not. I’ll probably keep hold of it.”

He added: “When I came into the England set-up Wayne was captain, he welcomed me and made me feel at home. As soon as he comes on I will be giving him that armband.”

The Manchester City midfielder also confirmed the players will give Rooney a guard of honour.

“It is going to be a huge night for Wayne and we want to make it special for him,” Delph said. “We think it is important to honour him for the achievements he has made throughout his career.”

Manager Gareth Southgate said: “We have spoken with the players because I didn’t want to make those decisions last week.

“The players are very keen that Wayne wears the number ten. We believe that is a fitting tribute. We have spoken a lot about doing things our own way, we did that right through the summer.

“We have a lot of respect for our former players, we know that the legacy is huge.”

Southgate also addressed some of the criticism over the decision to include Rooney in the squad for a farewell appearance.

He said: “It has been disappointing to see him having to defend his inclusion in the game. The more important thing is that within the England group, we value what he has done.

“The hardest thing in football is to cross the white line when you are the person who is expected to deliver, very different from run of the mill players like me.

“The world he had to live and grow up in. He was at the front and centre of England from the age of 17. It is incredible to live your life and grow up in that spotlight and excel within it.”

Jadon Sancho is set to be handed his full England debut, according to Sky sources, but Southgate remained coy on the inclusion of his youngsters.

“I think we have put young players in no matter what the situation has been,” he said.

“We’ve played young players in the World Cup and we have played young players in the match [against Spain] in Seville last month.

“If we believe players are good enough then we will give them their opportunity. The competition for places is really intense and we need that.”

(c) Sky News 2018: Wayne Rooney will take England captain role after coming off the bench against USA