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Published: 12:14 | 8/10/16

Rooney to captain England; Walcott starts


Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Wayne Rooney will captain England when they face Malta in their World Cup qualifier.

Rooney will retain his place in the England setup despite losing his first-team spot at Manchester United following poor performances.

"Wayne will start, but no, I can't [give any more information]," Southgate said. "I know everyone is keen to know the team early."

"The players are aware of the team and I'm sure it will leak out - I know that's what happens - but I don't see the point in giving the opposition the advantage of knowing our team. I think Wayne will bring his ability to control games, and his experience. "

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott will also make his first start since last October, after fine form seen the former Southampton man net five goals in eight appearances for the Gunners.

"I was told I had to bring someone who's starting [to the press conference]. It's a giveaway that Theo is here and, yes, he will start tomorrow, and it's a good moment for him.

"He's in superb form for his club and, as an international manager, it's your idea to have players who are playing well.

"He's maturing well as a player and he should feel confident because everything I've seen with his club suggests that will continue."

Conor McGregor will fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight belt at UFC 205 in New York on November 12 live on the eir Sport pack. The eir Sport pack is free to all eir broadband customers. To learn more about setting sport free visit www.eir.ie/sport .

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