Hodgson defends selection policy

Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross was also eligible to play for Wales, as well as England

Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross was also eligible to play for Wales, as well as England

First published in National Sport News © by

Roy Hodgson insists he is not offering the prospect of an England future for Ryan Shawcross and Carl Jenkinson just to stop them playing for someone else.

Shawcross has been named as Hodgson's fourth centre-half for this month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland. In addition, Hodgson hinted Jenkinson will receive his first call-up for the friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg on November 14.

Both players have a choice about where to commit their international futures, with Shawcross eligible for Wales and Finland hoping to persuade Jenkinson to play for them. And Hodgson said: "It wouldn't be fair for national teams to 'sign someone up' and try and block them, knowing they don't particularly want them themselves."

He added: "I've called up Shawcross because he has a genuine chance of playing for us and deserves to be in the squad. Wales didn't come into my thinking at all.

"I am aware Finland are after Jenkinson. I spoke to Mixu Paatelainen and he mentioned it. But he's on our radar and someone we're keen to explore."

Shawcross has already expressed a preference for England, whilst Jenkinson is bound to lean the same way once he realises how close he is to being picked. Indeed, Jenkinson came close to being picked this time around given Glen Johnson is suspended for the San Marino game.

Instead, Hodgson went for Jenkinson's Arsenal team-mate Kieran Gibbs, who has replaced Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand, with Aaron Lennon and Celtic keeper Fraser Forster the other surprises in a 25-man squad.

"We know a lot about Forster but haven't seen a lot of him close hand," said Hodgson. "Shawcross has been doing well for Stoke over a period of time and Aaron Lennon has started the season exceptionally well.

"Kieran Gibbs, like Jenkinson, has started very well for Arsenal. On this occasion, we decided to go with him and keep Jenkinson up our sleeves but he'll be very much in our thoughts when it comes to the next friendly match.

"After speaking to Arsene (Wenger) I am also conscious that his rise has been meteoric. He's only 20 and it's nice to temper things a little bit, but he wouldn't be out of place in the squad."

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