Roy Hodgson confirms Ashley Cole will lead England out against Republic of Ireland
England v Republic of Ireland
8pm, Wednesday 29 May 2013
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Roy Hodgson has confirmed Ashley Cole will lead England out against Republic of Ireland at Wembley, in tribute to the left-back reaching 100 caps against Brazil in February.
The Three Lions boss said: "Frank [Lampard]'s always been the captain in Steve[n Gerrad]'s absence. I appointed him when I started over a year ago.
"But in actual fact tomorrow, Frank and I have discussed this and Frank's happy for Ashley to lead the team onto the field in celebration of his 100th cap, which he'll receive tomorrow."
Hodgson is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Giovanni Trapattoni and then seeing what his side can do against the Italian's Republic of Ireland team.
Hodgson's Malmo got the better of Trapattoni's Inter Milan in the 1989 European Cup and they have been firm friends ever since.
But they will meet as international managers on Wednesday as the Irish travel to Wembley as part of The FA's 150th anniversary celebrations.
And Hodgson is looking forward to the occasion - and is incredibly keen to discover quite what his squad can offer.
Hodgson said of Trapattoni: "We go back a long way. I regard him as a friend and I am a great admirer of his.
"His CV and what he has achieved, not least in his playing career, is second to none.
"I know his team will be well organised, competitive and very well prepared for the game.
"We are ready for that, but we are friends before the game and we will be friends after."
And with a trip to Rio to play Brazil following the clash against the Republic, the Three Lions boss added: "This is a group of players I am really looking forward to see in matches, having had a chance to work with them in training.
"With it being a small group they will all get a reasonable amount of time. If you are splitting the playing time people get less time on the field."