Fabio Capello has dropped a strong hint that David James will be England’s goalkeeper for the start of the World Cup by handing him the number one shirt in South Africa.
James was back in Capello’s first 11 for the first time in 13 months for Sunday’s 2-1 win over Japan in Graz.
Robert Green has started eight of the past 11 internationals while Joe Hart has forced his way into contention after an impressive season on loan at Birmingham.
But Green has had to be content with the number 12 jersey and Hart 23 when the squad numbers were announced by the Football Association today, albeit after they appeared in an Umbro advert this morning.
There were few surprises with the the numbers from two to 11 handed to the players who look likely to start the opening match against the United States on June 12.
But Emile Heskey, who played a key role in the qualifiers, had had to be content with the 21 shirt with Peter Crouch wearing number nine.
The Tottenham striker has scored 21 goals in 38 appearances for his country while Heskey has managed only seven in 57 internationals.
England – 1 James, 2 Johnson, 3 Ashley Cole, 4 Gerrard, 5 Ferdinand, 6 Terry, 7 Lennon, 8 Lampard, 9 Crouch, 10 Rooney, 11 Joe Cole, 12 Green, 13 Warnock, 14 Barry, 15 Upson, 16 Milner, 17 Wright-Phillips, 18 Carragher, 19 Defoe, 20 King, 21 Heskey, 22 Carrick, 23 Hart.