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Rooney out of Spain game, Henderson to captain England

Gareth Southgate confirmed that Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson would lead the team.

FILE: England captain Wayne Rooney celebrated his 100th England cap with a goal from a penalty against Slovenia during the Euro 2016 qualifiers on 15 November 2014. Picture: Official England Football Team Facebook page.

LONDON – England captain Wayne Rooney has withdrawn from the squad for Tuesday’s friendly against Spain with a minor knee injury and returned to Manchester United for further tests after missing training, the FA said in a statement.

Earlier on Monday, England interim manager Gareth Southgate confirmed that Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson would lead the team against the 2010 world champions at Wembley on Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t start Wayne in this game anyway. Jordan Henderson will be captain,” Southgate told a news conference.

“The key for me is I believe we have several leaders and I don’t think we can have just one captain,” he added.

“Too much responsibility has been on Wayne, we need to share that. Once you have a team of those leaders you can have a lot of success.”

Southampton left back Ryan Bertrand also missed training on Monday and, with only 19 outfield players available, 17-year-old Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dylan Duncan was invited to join in.

England defeated bitter rivals Scotland 3-0 in a World Cup Group F qualifier on Friday, while Spain crushed Macedonia 4-0 in Group G on Saturday.

Tuesday’s game will be the last of Southgate’s four-match audition as England interim manager.

The former Under-21 coach landed the role on a temporary basis after Sam Allardyce was sacked in September for behaving “inappropriately” when seeking a lucrative sideline role while talking to undercover reporters.

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