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Tottenham striker Harry Kane named in England squad

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Kane was once a contender to be a Republic of Ireland interntional
Kane was once a contender to be a Republic of Ireland interntional

Harry Kane made moves to become a Republic of Ireland international not so long ago, but he was called up to the senior England squad for the first time by Roy Hodgson today.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill confirmed last week that Kane's representatives approached the FAI about the young striker committing his international future to the Irish cause a couple of years ago.

Yet his remarkable rise with Tottenham this season has propelled him up the England pecking order and their national team boss Roy Hodgson was delighted to name Kane in his squad for the first time.

"I think the whole country is excited about Harry," said Hodgson of the English-born youngster who has scored 26 goals for Spurs this season.

"His rise has been fantastic. It would have been a surprise if he wasn't selected. We hope he can establish himself."

Ireland may have moved quicker to secure Kane's services, but such has been his form in Tottenham colours this season that an England call was always likely.

Kane could not be on course to play against the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium this summer, with his first international experience set to come in upcoming matches against Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier and a friendly in Italy.

There were some interesting selections in the England squad, with Andros Townsend included despite indifferent form for Tottenham this season, while Theo Walcott also gets a call despite his lack of first team action at Arsenal.

ENGLAND SQUAD TO PLAY LITHUANIA AND ITALY

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Man City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Man United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Man United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Man United), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Man City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Man United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)