Wayne Rooney
Rooney dismisses claims he takes his spot in England's first team for granted.

Wayne Rooney has dismissed suggestions he has been handed preferential treatment by England and insists he has never considered himself a guaranteed starter for his country.

In the build up to England's World Cup campaign the Manchester United striker saw his role in Roy Hodgson's attack questioned after both Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling enjoyed marvellous campaigns for Liverpool last season.

Rooney, 28, was moved into a wider role against Italy on Saturday as Sturridge led the line with 19-year-old Sterling occupying space behind him. That set up worked to great effect as all three combined to create England's equaliser before Mario Balotelli's header ensured the Azzurri took all three points.

With a win against Uruguay on Thursday now a must, Hodgson has hinted he may move Rooney back to the forefront of his attack. But with his role for the Three Lions now dominating public discussion in the build up to that game, Rooney has hit back at suggestions he taken his place for granted.

"I've never felt that. I don't know why you said that. Why would I feel my place in the team is guaranteed?" Rooney said.

"I work hard to try and get into that team. I have never said my place is guaranteed. I don't expect to play, I work hard. I want to play.

"We have got a lot of good, young players so we will all work hard, all give the manager different options, different choices and whoever he picks, then I am sure we will all respect that."

Rooney's selfless running for his team was evident again on Saturday night as he covered seven miles in the energy sapping conditions in Manaus and the striker insists he will have no problem doing that again on Thursday.

"I know I have run a lot in games and I have no problem doing that. I felt no problems at all.

"To be honest, I can only speak on behalf of myself, I felt absolutely fine. The weather was not an issue, so that's down to the manager (selection on Thursday).

"Obviously he will see over the next couple of days how the lads are and how they recover and will make his decision from there."