Date: 9th October 2012 at 2:06pm
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Ryan Shawcross has joined up with the England squad as he aims to be the first Stoke City player to play for England in 28 years.

The Stoke captain could be the first player to wear the Three Lions shirt since Mark Chamberlain did in 1984.

Shawcross got the opportunity to use the newly built St George`s Park training complex and was in royal company as he got to meet the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William as they opened the new Centre of Excellence facility.

The 25-year-old has capitalised on the recent international retirement of former England captain John Terry and filled his vacant position in the squad.

The central defender could make his England debut on Friday night (12th October) in the FIFA World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley Stadium.

England coach and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has welcomed the inclusion of Shawcross and has also dismissed Stoke`s stereotype of being a team full of bruisers.

He told SkySports.com: ‘I don’t go along with the way in which people look at Stoke players

‘They are physical and they are aggressive but they also have a lot of quality.

‘I have seen Ryan Shawcross play since he was 16. Coming through the Manchester United system, I know he has been brought up in the correct manner.

‘He is a good football player and deserves respect for that. He is a great story and the fact he is in the England squad this week is something I am proud of.’

There have been suggestions that Ryan Shawcross and other fringe players in the England squad could be called upon on Friday night as manager Roy Hodgson could rotate his squad against an inferior San Marino team and rest first team players for the trip away in Poland on Tuesday night. (16th October)