London: England manager Roy Hodgson has named Wayne Rooney as captain for Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley.
With regular skipper Steven Gerrard suspended and vice-captain Frank Lampard ruled out due to a knee injury, Hodgson has opted to give the armband to Manchester United striker Rooney.
Rooney has previously captained England once before for a friendly defeat against Brazil in Doha in 2009, but this will be his first competitive match as skipper.
Hodgson's decision to pick Rooney ahead of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart -- regarded as the only other serious candidate for the role -- makes it a double celebration for the 26-year-old as it comes just a day after it was revealed his wife Coleen is expecting the couple's second child.
"It's a great honour, it's something I'm really proud of," Rooney said at a pre-match press conference on Thursday.
"It's a big challenge for myself, I'm really looking forward to it and excited, and hopefully we can cap the day off with a good victory."
Gerrard is expected to regain the armband when he returns from suspension for Tuesday's qualifier in Poland.
Story first published on: Thursday, 11 October 2012 19:16 IST