Ryan Shawcross and Fraser Forster named in England squad for World Cup qualifiers
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp. Last Updated: October 4, 2012 8:07pm
Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross has been named in England's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, with Rio Ferdinand again overlooked.
There had been suggestions the Manchester United centre-back would be recalled in the wake of John Terry's decision to quit international football, but coach Roy Hodgson has elected to turn to Shawcross.
The former England Under-21 international, 25, was approached by Wales boss Chris Coleman earlier this year, but he rejected that opportunity as he was keen to press his claims for further inclusion with England, having previously been an unused substitute in the March 2010 friendly with Egypt.
Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill will be the three main men pushing for the two centre-back berths, but Shawcross' inclusion is a reward for his impressive and consistent performances for Stoke in recent years.
Celtic keeper Fraser Forster has also been included as cover for Joe Hart and John Ruddy, with Jack Butland named in the Under-21 party earlier this week.
Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs, who has two caps from friendlies against Hungary and France, replaces Ryan Bertrand while Tottenham's Aaron Lennon is called up for the first time since the 2010 World Cup finals.
West Ham's on-loan Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has been recalled by Hodgson after making a swifter than expected recovery from a hamstring injury, joining Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe as the striking options.
Captain Steven Gerrard is included although he will miss the Wembley meeting with San Marino on 12 October through suspension after his red card in the draw with Ukraine, before returning for the testing trip to Warsaw to tackle Poland four days later.
England squad: Forster, Hart, Ruddy; Baines, Cahill, A Cole, Gibbs, Jagielka, G Johnson, Lescott, Walker, Shawcross; Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, A Johnson, Lennon, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott; Defoe, Rooney, Welbeck, Carroll.