Norwich City keeper Rudd earns England U21s call

Norwich City's back up keeper Declan Rudd has retained his place in England's U21s squad for next month's Euro2013 qualifying double header against Iceland and Norway.

Rudd earned his first call up to Stuart Pearce's 'Young Lions' earlier this month when he was an unused substitute in a 4-1 friendly win against Israel. The 20-year-old has since made his first senior Premier League start for the Canaries when he deputised for the suspended John Ruddy in the 1-0 home defeat to West Brom. Rudd is one of three keepers in Pearce's plans along with Man United's Ben Amos who Rudd played against on Tuesday night in the Red Devils' 4-2 Premier Reserve League win at Carrow Road.

Former Norwich City loanee Henri Lansbury is also in the squad for the away trips to Iceland on October 6 and Norway on October 11. Lansbury struck a brace in England's 6-0 opening qualifier against Azerbaijan at Watford – but Pearce expects a stiffer test on the road early next week.

'Our start to the campaign couldn't have gone any better really,' Pearce told thefa.com. 'If you win any two matches at international level 6-0 and 4-1 you have to be delighted. There were some very good performances within those games, the new-look squad gelled very well together. It's only been three weeks since we were together so to have another week-long get-together so close is really good for us. The work starts in earnest now, with two away games coming up it's important we get what we can on the road and preferably come back unbeaten.

'They are going to both be very difficult matches and important for all teams concerned. We felt from the outset of this group that everyone will take points from one another, and after Iceland beat Belgium and then lost to Norway it's looking like that will be the case. The games will come thick and fast, we've got these two next week, then a month later we have a game at Colchester against Iceland and one in Belgium. By the middle of November the group will be starting to really take shape.'


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