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Wayne Rooney: Roy Hodgson Wise to Include Man U Star with England for Euro 2012

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterMay 1, 2012

PODGORICA, MONTENEGRO - OCTOBER 07: Wayne Rooney of England in action during the UEFA EURO 2012 group G qualifier between Montenegro and England at the City Stadium on October 7, 2011 in Podgorica, Montenegro.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Roy Hodgson is already off to a flying start as the new England manager.

According to Sky Sports, Hodgson has decided to include Wayne Rooney in the Three Lions' squad for this summer's UEFA European Championship:

Hodgson also confirms Wayne Rooney will go to Euro 2012 even though he is suspended for first two games.

— Sky Sports (@SkySports) May 1, 2012

This, despite the fact that the Manchester United star is suspended for the first two matches. The ban, which stemmed from a stomping incident against Montenegro in October, was originally set to go three games, but was reduced to two upon appeal in December.

England will certainly need him once he's ready to return. Granted, the Three Lions could use their most-gifted player in those first two games—against France on June 11 and Sweden on June 15—more so than against host nation Ukraine in the third round of play in Group D.

And, frankly, if England has any hope of making noise at Euro 2012, it should be able to survive and advance to the knockout stage without Wazza up front. Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge aren't exactly chopped liver at striker, either.

But, should the Three Lions advance, they'll need Rooney's deft touch in attack against either Spain or Italy in the quarterfinals, and should they dodge elimination therein, one of the three between Germany, Holland and Portugal in the semifinals. Rooney is far and away England's most experienced forward, with 73 international caps and four goals in past European Championship finals.

That's not to say that the move is necessarily an easy one for Hodgson to make. Keeping an inactive player like Rooney around will force Hodgson to juggle his roster in such a way that will weaken it considerably for the first two games.

The bigger risk, though, would be to leave Rooney off entirely. He's key to England's hopes for success in Poland and the Ukraine next month, even if he won't be allowed to set foot to pitch until June 19.

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