England boss Hodgson: Manchester United star Rooney is not an automatic starter

Roy Hodgson has warned England captain Wayne Rooney that he is no longer a first choice selection.

On Thursday, Hodgson named his squad for upcoming friendlies with Germany and Holland but Manchester United skipper Rooney was left out as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

Regarding Rooney’s role in the Three Lions setup, Hodgson indicated that perhaps he will need to be at full fitness and in top form to gain a start in his XI at Euro2016 this summer.

“It’s wrong to say Wayne is an automatic starter. I’ve never said anyone is that,” said Hodgson.

“Does he have a good chance with his track record, ability and experience? Of course he has. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be.

“He might not have recovered to the best of his ability, or we might want to use different players or play a different way. But he’s our captain.”

“He has been very important in that job and we need his influence and ability. But that will have to be proven on the field. Wayne realises that.

“He knows that, if others are better or the right men to play, he’ll accept that. If he’s fit, he’ll go. But not as an automatic starter.”

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