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Jag motors into England squad
Phil Jagielka will finally get to go to a major tournament after he was called into England's Euro 2012 squad as replacement for Gareth Barry.
Manager Roy Hodgson had indicated he would "re-configure" his 23-man squad if Barry was ruled out by the stomach problem he suffered during Saturday's friendly win in Norway.
And after scans confirmed Barry could not play any meaningful role in Poland and Ukraine this summer, Hodgson did just that, adding Jagielka as an eighth defender in preference to Liverpool's Jordan Henderson, who had been on standby in midfield.
It brings some kind of closure for Jagielka, who had appeared well set to be part of Fabio Capello's World Cup squad in 2010 until he ruptured his cruciate ligament in April 2009. The 29-year-old was missing for 10 months, leaving him with no time to convince Capello he could recapture his old form on the international stage.
Prior to the Wembley defeat by Holland in February though, Jagielka had been named in every squad but one since the World Cup, making three appearances during the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
Together with Joleon Lescott, Jagielka kept world champions Spain out at Wembley last November and might have considered himself unfortunate not to be included in Hodgson's original 23-man squad instead of being named on standby.
However, with Chelsea trio John Terry, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill missing the Oslo trip and Glen Johnson ruled out through injury, Hodgson selected Jagielka in central defence at the weekend and must have been impressed by the response.
So, once Barry was ruled out, the Everton man was added to the official squad that will now be confirmed to UEFA by 11am on Tuesday.
Hodgson was quick to assure Barry he does still have a future with the Three Lions though. "I am very disappointed to lose Gareth, not only was he a member of my original 23-man squad but he has featured prominently in the England team over the last few years," said Hodgson.
"I know how much he wanted to be part of the tournament but I'm sure he will still have a part to play with England after the Euros. I wish him a speedy recovery."