Cole set to turn down offer from Hodgson to lead out Three Lions

ENGLAND centurion Ashley Cole is expected to turn down the chance to captain the side against Republic of Ireland next week.

Cole made his 100th England appearance against Brazil in February and will be presented with his landmark cap ahead of kick-off on Wednesday.

In the absence of regular skipper Steven Gerrard through injury, the armband needs to be reallocated and Hodgson will give Cole first refusal.

“Most players who earn 100 caps are given the captaincy, but last time I spoke to Ashley he was more than happy to stay in the shadows,” said Hodgson. “I will speak to him again.”

HODGSON’S CHOICE

England squad to face Republic of Ireland on 29 May and Brazil on 2 June
■ GKs: Hart, Foster, McCarthy
■ DFs: Baines, Cahill, Cole, Jagielka, Johnson, Jones, Lescott, Walker
■ MFs: Carrick, Cleverley, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott
■ FWs: Carroll, Defoe, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck