England manager Roy Hodgson has called up Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy for his 22-man squad for the friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

The manager has also recalled Joleon Lescott and Andy Carroll after the duo were omitted from his original squad for World Cup 2014 qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro last March.

Alex McCarthy
Reading\'s McCarthy has been called up to the England squad for the first time. (Reuters)

The 21-year-old shot stopper McCarthy has been one of the bright sparks in what has been a miserable past few months for Reading who were relegated from the Premier League last month.

Despite only making 12 Premier League starts, his impressive showings for the Royals has earned him a full international call up, as third choice behind Joe Hart and Ben Foster.

"Jack Butland, who came with us to the Euros, we have not had a lot of chances to use him in the last few months because the U21s are preparing for the important tournament in Israel," Hodgson told BBC Sport.

"We have had a very good look at Fraser Foster and having seen Alex McCarthy and read reports it will be a good chance to have a look at him. He deserves it because he has been playing well."

Carroll's recent form has also seen him rewarded with a call up for the post season friendlies at Wembley. The on loan West Ham forward has scored four goals for his club since missing out on selection three months ago.

With Steven Gerrard unavailable through injury, it has been suggested that Hodgson will turn to Ashley Cole to captain the side, but the England boss is unsure whether the Chelsea full back will take up the offer, and may turn to captains-elect Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.

"I will also speak to Ashley Cole. Most players who earn 100 caps are given the captaincy, but last time I spoke to Ashley he wanted to stay in the shadows. But I will speak to him again," the England boss added.

"We haven't named the captains before because we have usually have Steven Gerrard available. But Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney are captains-elect."

England will welcome Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland to Wembley on May 29, before taking on the World Cup 2014 hosts in Brazil on 2 June.

Full England squad for Republic of Ireland & Brazil friendlies.

Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Alex McCarthy

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott

Forwards: Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck