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England U21s: Friendly against Romania off after two positive coronavirus cases in England camp

England U21s friendly match against Romania in Bucharest on Friday called off; two coronavirus cases reported within England camp; squad remains at St. George's Park ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2023 qualifier against Kosovo in Milton Keynes

Lee Carsley has been appointed England U21 head coach (PA)
Image: Lee Carsley is the new England U21 head coach

England U21s will not play Romania in Bucharest on Friday after two positive coronavirus cases among Young Lions' players and support staff.

The match against Romania was set to be Lee Carsley's first in charge after he was appointed as the new England U21 head coach in July.

But his opening game will now be Tuesday's Euro 2023 qualifier against Kosovo in Milton Keynes after England decided not to travel to Romania, who are the joint-hosts with Georgia for the next U21 Euros.

An FA statement read: "England men's under-21s will no longer travel to play Romania on Friday after two positive COVID-19 tests were reported within the party of players and support staff.

England players during a huddle prior to kick-off during the 21 UEFA European Under-21 Championship match at the Bonifika Stadium in Koper, Slovenia. Picture date: Wednesday March 31, 2021.
Image: England U21s will be looking to bounce back from elimination at the group stage of this year's European Championships

"It has been decided to cancel the trip as a precaution and our thanks go to the Romanian Football Federation for their understanding.

"The individuals concerned were immediately isolated from the rest of the group, with the squad still based at St. George's Park.

"The Young Lions' focus will switch to preparing for next Tuesday's home fixture with Kosovo at MK Dons to mark the start of qualifying for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship."

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Liverpool's Elliott receives first England U21 call-up

Carsley, who will be assisted by Ashley Cole, announced his squad for the matches against Romania and Kosovo last month with Liverpool winger Harvey Elliott receiving a first call-up to the England U21 squad.

Harvey Elliott
Image: Harvey Elliott has made three appearances for Liverpool this season

Elliott, 18, made his full Premier League debut in Liverpool's 2-0 win against Burnley and was among a number of new inclusions in a 24-man squad.

He was joined by Nottingham Forest loanee James Garner, Manchester City pair Cole Palmer and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Southampton's Valentino Livramento, Leeds' Charlie Cresswell and Aston Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey.

Goalkeeper Etienne Green, who plays for St Etienne in Ligue 1, was also given his first England call-up at any level after previously representing France at international level.

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