Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has replaced Gary Cahill in the England squad for the World Cup qualifier against San Marino, but could return for the trip to Montenegro next week.

Cahill will be assessed throughout the week with a view to featuring in the second qualifier next Tuesday, with Taylor, who could make his first international appearance in Serravalle on Friday.

With Michael Dawson and Rio Ferdinand having already withdrawn with respective fitness issues, Cahill's absence is a further blow to Roy Hodgson, who could be forced to pair Chris Smalling and Joleon Lescott in the centre of defence.

Steven Taylor
Taylor trained with England on Tuesday morning.

Taylor said: "It's a dream come true.

"I am so happy to have received a call-up to the full squad. It is every player's ambition to represent their country and it is the greatest honour in professional football.

"If I am lucky enough to be given that chance over the next seven days, it will be one of the proudest moments of my playing career."

"This is a fully deserved call-up for Steven," Newcastle boss Alan Pardew added.

"He missed part of the season but since his return has been outstanding.

"He has a great chance, on this form, of going to the World Cup. On behalf of all the squad, staff and supporters, we wish him all the best and hope he is given the chance to win his first senior international cap."

Injuries have restricted Taylor's involvement in recent seasons for Newcastle, having made just 26 league starts across the last two seasons, with a ruptured Achilles tendon ending his 2011/12 campaign prematurely.

The 27 year old has made 18 league starts this season, helping Newcastle recover from a difficult start in the Premier League, while the club face Benfica in the Europa League last eight.

But the news of Cahill's withdrawal again highlights how the loss of Ferdinand, who announced on Monday his intention to pull out of the squad due to conflictions with his fitness programme, is continuing to have a deep effect on Hodgson's preparations.

Hodgson admitted last week he had neglected to contact Ferdinand prior to calling up the Manchester United defender, with his U-turn another embarrassing episode of the 34 year old's international career.