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England debuts await for Saints pair

PUBLISHED

11:24 4th September 2013

James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw will both be hoping to make debuts for the England Under-21s on Thursday night.

The Saints duo have been called into the Young Lions squad by new coach Gareth Southgate with England set to play Moldova at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.

Luke has been called up no fewer than four times to the squad before, but frustratingly on each occasion had to withdraw through illness/injury. This time, he’ll hope to make the line up for a European Qualification match having spent the early part of this week training up at St George’s Park.

Shaw is joined by teammate Ward-Prowse, who represented England Under-20s during the summer at the U20s World Cup in Turkey. James has had a fine start to the Barclays Premier League season with Saints, starting in each game so far.

Incoming Under-21s coach Gareth Southgate has wiped the slate clean for his squad of players ahead of the new qualification process for the 2015 European Championships.

“This time, with a different group of staff and for myself and Steve Holland (England assistant coach), it’s been a fresh challenge and we’ve really enjoyed it,” Southgate explained.

“The guys that are here have been very bright in training and we’re actually spoilt for choice in several areas of the field.

“We’ve spoken to the players this week and it’s not just about winning matches, it’s about the way that we want to play and we’re also part of the development,” the 21s coach added.

“Clubs do the majority of that work with their players, but we want this experience to be one that is enjoyable and one that they feel they come away from having learnt something.”

With Calum Chambers set to represent England U19s in Estonia on Thursday and Rickie Lambert also likely to feature for the senior side on Friday night, there will be plenty of reasons for Southampton fans to take national pride over the next few days.

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