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Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin named in England squad

Uncapped trio Jamie Vardy, Charlie Austin and Tom Heaton have been named in England's squad to face the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia.

Roy Hodgson has included the three potential new caps for the friendly in Dublin on June 7 and the European Qualifier in Ljubljana seven days later.

Burnley keeper Heaton, 29, has previous international experience for England having featured throughout the youth ranks from U16s to U21s.

Former Fleetwood striker Vardy scored four goals for Leicester in his first season in the Premier League, while Austin had a purple patch in front of goal for QPR, although his 17 goals were not enough to keep them in the top division.

Hodgson was unable to select Daniel Sturridge because of injury and Tottenham's Harry Kane was included in the England U21 squad for the European Championship in the Czech Republic next month.

Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also omitted because of fitness concerns and there was no place for in-form Manchester United midfielder Ashley Young.

England have won seven of their last eight games, with the other match drawn, and they head to Dublin for the return fixture from the 1-1 draw in 2013 at Wembley that was part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations.

Hodgson's men beat Slovenia 3-1 in a European Qualifier in front of an 82,000 crowd at Wembley last November, and they head to Ljubljana looking to to make it six wins from six in Group E.

"I'm very pleased with the squad we've been able to put together here, I think it's a very strong squad," Hodgson told a press conference.

"In particular I'm very pleased to welcome three people who haven't been with us before but who get the chance, to some extent because of the U21s, because quite often we've used some of those players in our squad and it's given them the opportunity.

"For people like Tom Heaton and Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin I think it's a good opportunity for them to have a chance to come and show us what they can do and I don't think anyone would deny them the right to be there because they have had very good seasons with their clubs quite often in difficult situations."

On Austin's inclusion, he added: "We've always had our eye on Charlie but up to this point we've had a full quota of front players and I don't think we've had the space there.

"We'll give him every chance to show what he can do in training and maybe in the matches. We can't promise that."

And when asked about Vardy, Hodgson said: "There's no doubt that players who have that pace and that desire to run in behind players is always interesting for coaches."

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Green (QPR), Hart (Manchester City), Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Bertrand (Southampton), Cahill (Chelsea), Clyne (Southampton), Gibbs (Arsenal), Jagielka (Everton), Jones (Manchester United), Smalling (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Barkley (Everton), Delph (Aston Villa), Henderson (Liverpool), Lallana (Liverpool), Mason (Tottenham), Milner (Manchester City), Sterling (Liverpool), Townsend (Tottenham), Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Austin (QPR), Rooney (Manchester United), Vardy (Leicester City), Welbeck (Arsenal)


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