Hodgson backs Rooney for record
Rooney currently stands joint 13th on the all-time list with 84 appearances for his country but will move up a couple of places if he features in both the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.
It would still leave him some way adrift of former Manchester United team-mate David Beckham, the most capped outfield player with 115, and Peter Shilton, who featured on 10 more occasions and currently claims the record.
However, Rooney is not due to celebrate his 28th birthday until later this month, and if he extends his career into his mid-30s, as both Gerrard and Lampard have done, even Shilton's mark is well within reach.
"Wayne could go through the roof when it comes to caps," said Hodgson.
"He has 84 already and he is a wonderful player.
"His performances for Manchester United in recent weeks have been first-class. David Moyes is delighted with him.
"I don't know if it's right for me to say there's one player who's a jewel, but I would want to concur he is a very important player who will be taking a lot of responsibility tomorrow."
In his candid interview on Wednesday, Rooney confirmed he had become irritated at Sir Alex Ferguson's repeated demand for him to operate in central midfield.
Evidently, it is not a position Rooney feels he is suited to.
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