Wayne Rooney will follow in the footsteps of legends on Friday night when he captains England in a competitive international for the first time, insisting the flashes of temper that scarred the early period of his career are a thing of the past.

With Steven Gerrard ruled out through suspension and Frank Lampard missing with a knee problem which leaves him doubtful for Tuesday's crucial trip to Poland, Rooney will inherit the armband.

The 26-year-old is a logical choice, although some did feel Joe Hart would have been less of a risk. But the Manchester United striker said: "I have cut out a lot of the silly tackles and mistakes I made as a young player. I don't want to be making the wrong type of headlines and missing games I don't want to be missing."

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