Hodgson backs Shawcross to show he is England class

Roy Hodgson believes Ryan Shawcross will prove to his doubters that there is more to his game than physicality, the Daily Mirror has reported. The Stoke City defender could make his England debut after being included in Hodgson’s squad to play San Marino and Poland in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Shawcross has once before been part of the England set-up, making the substitutes’ bench under Fabio Capello for a friendly against Egypt. But as Shawcross did not get onto the pitch to make an England appearance he remained eligible to play for Wales, although the former Manchester United youngster recently rejected an approach from manager Chris Coleman.

The Mirror claims that Shawcross is best known for the tackle that broke the leg of Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey nearly three years ago, but Hodgson believes there is more to the 25-year-old’s game than brute force.

Hodgson said: “He must have developed in the time since he was last in the squad, of course. Furthermore, he’s captain of Stoke. When you captain a team, it shows you have certain qualities. Other managers running Premier League clubs are not stupid. He’s clearly got a lot of qualities.

Shawcross is joined as an uncapped player in the squad by Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster, formerly of Newcastle United, while Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs and Aaron Lennon have also earned recalls.

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