McClaren is without his first-choice partnership - with Rio Ferdinand suspended and John Terry out (knee injury) - for Friday´s friendly in Vienna and the potentially crucial Wembley encounter with Croatia five days later.
Despite his relative inexperience, McClaren will not rule 19-year-old Richards out of the position to partner Sol Campbell on age grounds, saying: "I would have no hesitation in playing Micah Richards in central defence. We played him there for one half against Germany and he did well and his performances there for Manchester City have been impressive."
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