Quintet leave U21 squad

Rodwell, Hooper, Davies, Lansbury and Smithies unavailable

Hooper: Denied debut

Pearce: Depleted squad

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England U21 boss Stuart Pearce has seen his plans for a date with Denmark hit by mass withdrawals.

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The Young Lions found themselves in a similar situation ahead of their last fixture, a 1-0 defeat to Italy.

Pearce was forced to work with a shadow squad on that occasion and has already seen five players pull out ahead of England's latest game.

Injuries have forced Jack Rodwell, Gary Hooper, Mark Davies, Henri Lansbury and Alex Smithies to return to their clubs.

Celtic striker Hooper had been hoping to make his debut for the U21s, but picked up an injury in the Bhoys' Co-operative Insurance Cup final defeat to Rangers on Sunday.

Niggle

Rodwell took a knock during Everton's weekend victory over Fulham, while Bolton midfielder Davies is also nursing a niggle.

Norwich loan star Lansbury and Huddersfield goalkeeper Smithies head home with problems which will keep them out of Thursday's clash with Denmark.

Pearce will now select from a 26-man squad as England continue with their preparations for this summer's U21 European Championships.

He will be hoping that he suffers no more setbacks during the meeting with the Danes, as England are set to face Iceland in another friendly at Preston's Deepdale home on Monday.

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