Kane to start against Italy

2015-03-30 22:03
Harry Kane (AFP)

Turin - Tottenham's Harry Kane is set for his full England debut alongside Wayne Rooney in a friendly against Italy on Tuesday.

Spurs sensation Kane has been in scintillating form in the Premier League this season and scored his maiden England goal when he came off the bench during a 4-0 rout of Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier at the weekend.

With Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck both sidelined with injury, England manager Roy Hodgson has had little choice but to give the 21-year-old Kane his full competitive debut at Juventus Stadium.

Hodgson, who spent two years coaching in Italy with Inter Milan, said Kane "deserved" his chance.

But while he claimed the fixture will be a "valuable learning exercise" that will also give other hopefuls a chance to cement their place in his Euro 2016 squad, Hodgson insisted the real test of England's progress will come once qualification from Group E has been achieved.

England are due to face Euro 2016 hosts France in a November friendly.

In the meantime, Hodgson said he was looking forward to seeing how Kane links up with Rooney.

"I'm pleased to see the two of them playing together from the start... Harry certainly deserves his chance," Hodgson told reporters in Turin on Monday.

"He's looking forward to the game and this is a good opportunity for the players who haven't had the chance in qualifiers to show they deserve a place in the squad."

Hodgson added: "Every game we play is a valuable learning excercise but I'm hoping we'll have other, prestigious friendlies to look forward to.

"The real test of where we are will come when the qualifying is over. Then, you've got France to look forward to.

"Tomorrow night will be an excellent game. I know we'll take the game seriously and Italy will take the game seriously."

In their past two encounters Italy ousted England from the 2012 European Championships and then beat Hodgson's side 2-1 in the first round of the World Cup before both teams were eliminated at the first hurdle.

However England are also unbeaten since their premature return from Brazil, and Rooney -- who will wear the captain's armband -- is hoping the Three Lions can prove they have progressed since their World Cup defeat to the Azzurri.

"I think we have to move on from the World Cup. Obviously, the most important thing is qualifying for the championships," said Rooney.

"Tomorrow will be a good test. As a group of players we have to move on. We've played some good football and won games."

Rooney said he was looking forward to seeing how Kane would fare on what is sure to be a memorable full debut.

"He's been exciting for English football, coming into the Premier League with Tottenham... hopefully he continues that form with England," added Rooney.

"It will be a big night for him, it's his first start.. I'm sure he'll be excited to give his best, and I'll obviously be excited to play with him."

Read more on:    harry kane  |  soccer

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