Rooney tipped for England spot
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ENGLAND manager Sven Goran Eriksson names his first squad of 2003 on Saturday and it is set to be one of his most controversial yet.
Reports are wide spread in the media that Everton's Wayne Rooney, at just 17 and after just nine first team games, will be named in Eriksson's party for next week's friendly with Australia.
Rooney has been tipped for a place in the senior international squad since making his Premiership debut at just 16 earlier this season.
However, it had been thought that Rooney would be introduced to the international scene via the Under-21s first - but it now seems the youngster's rapid progress will see him rub shoulders with the likes of David Beckham and Michael Owen.
If Rooney does play any part in the game against the SocceRoos, then he will become England's youngest ever international - beating James Prinsep's record who played against Scotland in 1879 aged just 17 years and 253 days.
Rooney, though, is not the only shock name who is being tipped to make what could be a very experimental party for the game at Upton Park.
Tthe likes of Jermaine Jenas, Scott Parker, Paul Konchesky, Sean Davis, Jermain Defoe, James Beattie, Matthew Oakley, Gareth Barry and West Brom's Russell Hoult all rumoured to be under serious consideration.
The squad will be named on Saturday evening and it should be one of Eriksson's most interesting to date.