Birchall wants to face Rooney
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chris Birchall is hoping England pick Wayne Rooney for the game against T&T.
Chris Birchall is hoping England pick Wayne Rooney for Thursday's game against Trinidad & Tobago.
There are contrasting reports regarding whether England coach Sven Goran Eriksson will gamble on Rooney's fitness for the team's second World Cup game.
Rooney is working his way towards peak condition after breaking a metatarsal bone in his foot and had not been expected to figure until after the group phase.
But, following the lacklustre attacking display against Paraguay on Saturday, there is talk Rooney could be plunged into the team to face The Soca Warriors.
Reports have suggested that the independent doctor who assessed Rooney after his scan last week will not be able to visit England's training camp in Baden-Baden until after Thursday's game.
Rooney's club Manchester United are anxious for their striker not to play competitive football until he is completely ready, but Eriksson has hinted he may select the former Everton starlet.
T & T midfielder Birchall is keen for Eriksson to hand Rooney a game, as he wants the chance to test himself against the 20-year-old attacker.
"He's a great player and we want to play against the best players in the world," Birchall told Sky Sports News.
"If Rooney plays, it will be a great experience for everyone to know they've played against him."