Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane
Harry Kane cushioned home a last-gasp equaliser for England against Scotland at Hampden Park

Harry Kane will retain the England captaincy for a forthcoming friendly meeting with France, manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed. The prolific Tottenham Hotspur striker donned the armband for the first time during a dramatic 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Scotland on Saturday (10 June) and will do so again in Paris tomorrow evening.

"Harry will captain the team," Southgate told reporters at his pre-match press conference. "It's probably a similar scenario to October, where Jordan Henderson captained the team in the first game and was starting the second. So it made sense to keep it how it was and it's the same with Harry this time."

While Kane has captained Tottenham in the past and been tipped as a potential future skipper of both club and country by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, Southgate is keen to stress that the Premier League Golden Boot winner's appointment for two successive matches does not hint that he is the favourite to shoulder the responsibility on a permanent basis.

"No, that means it's the same as October," he added. "I'm not committing to a timescale on that [making a decision on a full-time captain]. It's been a good experience to develop other leaders."

He added: "I'm not in a rush to make that decision. At some point it's probably something we should do, in fact I'm certain it's something we should do, but I think it's been good to devolve the leadership."

Joe Hart will play no part against France, with Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton set to start and Stoke City's Jack Butland in line to take over after the interval. The Manchester City outcast drew criticism from some quarters after failing to keep out a pair of late free-kicks from Leigh Griffiths that put England on the brink of a first qualifying defeat since 2009 at Hampden Park, although Southgate insists he was never going to play against France.


"First and foremost they were definitely great free-kicks," he said. "Coaching conversations with players have to remain private. If I go that route with anybody then I don't think that's the right thing to do. We've had lots of discussions as a team about what we can do better. We have to avoid conceding free-kicks in dangerous areas.

"It was never my intention to play Joe in this game. Tom Heaton has had an outstanding season and we've got to make sure people feel involved. You need to give people game time; in the past one or two goalkeepers have given up international football because they haven't had the chance. Jack is coming back from an injury and he has been our No 2. We think he can challenge for the number one spot going forward."