Pearce calls on senior stars

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England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has named Micah Richards and Aaron Lennon in a 23-man squad for this month's two-legged UEFA Championship play-off against Wales.

In addition to the experienced full England internationals, Pearce has also called Southampton's 20-year-old midfielder Adam Lallana into his party for the first time.

Lallana is one of only three players in the squad to be uncapped at under-21 level, alongside Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand, currently on loan at Norwich, and Wolves' in-form striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

A strong squad also includes Barclays Premier League stars Gabriel Agbonlahor, David Wheater, James Milner and Mark Noble.

England travel to Cardiff for the first leg on October 10 before a decider at Villa Park four days later, with the victors claiming a place in next summer's finals in Sweden.

The countries last met in a friendly in Wrexham in May, when Bryan Flynn's youngsters were defeated 2-0 thanks to goals from Tom Huddlestone, who is included in the latest squad, and Theo Walcott, who will not be involved this time due to senior England responsibilities.

"That result in May probably flattered us on the day, we didn't play particularly well," said Pearce.

"Wales at this level are the strongest they have been in their history. They have seven players with full caps. There are not too many countries in Europe that can boast that."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Tom Huddlestone
Norwich City
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Aaron Lennon
James Milner
Cardiff City
Adam Lallana
Mark Noble
Stuart Pearce
Micah Richards
David Wheater
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Ryan Bertrand
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
Theo Walcott

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