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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:03 GMT
Beckham to shield Rooney
Rooney will be protected by Beckham on England duty
Rooney will be protected by Beckham on England duty
England captain David Beckham will act as Wayne Rooney's personal minder as Everton's teenager prepares to make history.

Rooney - at 17 years and 111 days - will be the youngest England international when he makes his debut against Australia at Upton Park on Wednesday.

And coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has revealed that Beckham will take Rooney under his wing to shield him from the huge publicity he is likely to face.

Wayne was 10 when I made my England debut and that makes me feel old

David Beckham

Eriksson said: "I don't think I even need to ask David, he will just do it naturally.

"He does that all the time when young players come in and is very, very good as a captain.

Beckham seemed comfortable in the minder's role when asked about it on Tuesday.

"People tell me Wayne was 10 when I made my England debut and that makes me feel old," he said.

Sven's new faces
Paul Robinson
Paul Konchesky
Matthew Upson
Jermaine Jenas
Sean Davis
Scott Parker
Wayne Rooney
James Beattie

"But it was the same when I came into the England for the first time and if I had a problem I would go to Alan Shearer and the older players.

"Wayne is a quiet lad whom seems level headed on and off the pitch, but I am sure if he wants to ask me about dealing with fame and things like that then he will.

"It's just a case of him listening to people and he's just got to enjoy his football and he seems to be doing that."

Rooney will be at the centre of attention in England's build-up, but Everton boss David Moyes is confident the youngster can cope.

If he is carrying the hopes of a nation at 17, then England really do have a problem

David Moyes
Everton boss

He said: "Wayne is just a young boy and mixing with all the top players will be like all his Christmases coming early.

"He'll be delighted just to be there with the squad, but there is a chance he might be over-awed to find himself hagning around with guys like Beckham and Michael Owen.

"Don't forget he's only a kid. He's immature and mentally he's not fully developed yet.

"If he is carrying the hopes of a nation at 17, then England really do have a problem.

"But on the pitch he'll be as good as any of them. He has an incredible enthusiasm to play. He just can't get enough of it."


England 27-man squad to face Australia :

Goalkeepers: David James (West Ham), Paul Robinson (Leeds), Richard Wright (Everton);
Defenders: Gary Neville (Man Utd), Ashley Cole (Arsenal), Danny Mills (Leeds), Paul Konchesky (Charlton), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), Ledley King (Tottenham), Wes Brown (Man Utd), Matthew Upson (Birmingham);
Midfielders: David Beckham (Man Utd), Paul Scholes (Man Utd), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle), Jermaine Jenas (Newcastle), Sean Davis (Fulham), Scott Parker (Charlton), Danny Murphy (Liverpool), Joe Cole (West Ham);
Forwards: Michael Owen (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Everton), James Beattie (Southampton), Darius Vassell (Aston Villa), Francis Jeffers (Arsenal).

England v Australia latest

England 1-3 Australia

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