Wayne Rooney not guaranteed to start for England, says Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson thinks Wayne Rooney is key for England but says he does not have to pick him in the starting XI

Roy Hodgson insists England captain Wayne Rooney is not guaranteed a place in his starting XI at Euro 2016.

The England manager named a 26-man squad on Monday for the two preparation matches against Turkey and Australia, with Rooney included alongside Manchester United team-mate Marcus Rashford.

Rashford and Wilshere in squad

Rashford and Wilshere in squad

Wilshere and Rashford in England squad for friendlies against Turkey and Australia

But with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy scoring 49 goals between them for Tottenham and Leicester this season, Rooney's England place has come under threat. 

Roy Hodgson thinks Wayne Rooney is key for England but says he does not have to pick him in the starting XI

The 30-year-old has been used both as a striker and as a central midfielder by United boss Louis van Gaal this season, but it is understood Hodgson plans to use Rooney on the left wing in a 4-3-3 system following conversations between the two.

However, speaking after the squad announcement, Hodgson said Rooney's place was not cast in stone ahead of England's first game of the tournament against Russia on June 11. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with Wayne Rooney of Manchester United v Villa
Image: Rooney's Manchester United team-mate Marcus Rashford has been included in the 26-man squad

"Rooney is the captain and he's done fantastically for England. He's been very important during the qualifiers and we are grateful," he said. 

"But I've got three matches before Russia. Who knows what's going to happen in those games?

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"To my knowledge, he certainly isn't demanding he will play in the opening game and I am under no pressure to select him in the opening game unless I deem him the right man for the job."

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