Double joy for Roo!

England manager Roy Hodgson has named Wayne Rooney as captain for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley. With regular skipper Steven Gerrard suspended and vice-captain Frank Lampard ruled out due to a knee injury, Hodgson has opted to give the armband to Manchester United striker Rooney.

On top of the moon: England star Wayne Rooney. PIC/Getty Images

Rooney has previously captained England once before for a friendly defeat against Brazil in Doha in 2009, but this will be his first competitive match as skipper.

Hodgson’s decision to pick Rooney ahead of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart — regarded as the only other serious candidate for the role — makes it a double celebration for the 26-year-old as it comes just a day after it was revealed his wife Coleen is expecting the couple’s second child. “It’s a great honour,” Rooney said at a pre-match press conference yesterday. “It’s a big challenge, I’m really looking forward to it.”

San Marino trivia
>> They are listed joint 207th in the Fifa rankings with only Turks & Caicos Islands below them.
>> The population of San Marino is just over 31,000, which would fit inside Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium.
>> San Marino have lost 108 of their 114 games.
>> Manager Giampaolo Mazza is a PE teacher in San Marino. 

Other fixtures
>> Armenia vs Italy
>> Belarus vs Spain
>> Holland vs Andorra
>> Ireland vs Germany
>> France vs Japan
>> Argentina vs Uruguay

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