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Hudson quits NZ, linked with Rapids job

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By ESPN Staff

Walcott left out of England Under-21s squad

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has not been included in the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship clash against Greece at Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium next week.

• Wenger bemoans "terrible pressure" on Walcott

The 20-year-old has not played a seniors game this season but could be used by Fabio Capello in the friendly against Egypt a week on Wednesday, the same day Stuart Pearce's Under-21s play.

Walcott's shoulder, knee and hamstring injuries this season have limited his impact for club and country, with Aaron Lennon appearing to be winning the race to start on Capello's right flank after playing in the final three World Cup qualifiers.

Lennon, however, has been out with a groin strain since December, while Walcott looked back on form when Capello watched him against Sunderland at the weekend.

Walcott had played for the Under-21s earlier in the campaign but Pearce has not included him in a 24-man squad that sees Wigan's Victor Moses and Aston Villa's Nathan Delfouneso receive their first call-ups.

"We just felt that Nathan has got a great commodity in his pace,'' Pearce told thefa.com, ahead of the important clash on the road to the finals in Denmark next year.

"I've seen him play for the Under-19s and he can also play out wide as well as down the middle. And Victor has the ability to go past a player and be a match-winner, so between them they give us something different.''

Jack Rodwell, Lee Cattermole, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere return to Pearce's squad following injuries during the last international break.

"The last squad we picked, there were eight players who had played the previous Saturday. I've named a 24-man squad for this one and there are 14 players who played at the weekend, so we've got a bigger number who are getting first-team football,''

"There are the likes of Jack Cork and Jack Wilshere, who have recently gone out on loan to Premier League clubs, while Victor signed for Wigan last month.

"Amongst this group there are those like (Michael) Mancienne, (Ryan) Bertrand, (Scott) Loach and (Fabrice) Muamba who have played a lot of first-team football this season too. So we have some experience there that can be very important for us.''

SQUAD: Fielding (Rochdale), Loach (Watford), McCarthy (Yeovil); Bertrand (Reading), Mancienne (Wolves), Naughton (Middlesbrough), Richards (Man City), Smalling (Fulham), Tomkins (West Ham), Walker (Tottenham); Cleverley (Watford), Cork (Burnley), Delph (Aston Villa), Wilshere (Bolton), Muamba (Bolton), Gosling (Everton), Lansbury (Watford), Moses (Wigan), Cattermole (Sunderland), Rodwell (Everton); Carroll (Newcastle), Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Sturridge (Chelsea), Welbeck (Preston).

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