Big moment for young England – Rooney

England captain Wayne Rooney prepares for Euro 2016

England v Russia
Venue: Stade Velodrome, Marseille Date: 11 June Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and app. Live text commentary on every game on BBC Sport website.

England captain Wayne Rooney says Euro 2016 is a “big moment” for Roy Hodgson’s team and a new generation of players making their tournament debuts.

Forwards Marcus Rashford, 18, and Harry Kane, 22, and midfielder Dele Alli, 20, are among those expected to feature for Hodgson’s team in France.

“This tournament could be a big moment for England and this group of players,” said Rooney, 30, on the eve of England’s first game against Russia.

“We have prepared well.”

England v Russia: Full match preview

England have not won a major tournament since lifting the World Cup in 1966.

“We will have to wait and see what this tournament brings,” said Hodgson. “The important thing is to not to get too hung up about the past.”

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Analysis – ‘Hodgson’s future rests on this tournament’

Phil McNulty, chief football writer:

England manager Roy Hodgson starts his third major tournament in charge when their Euro 2016 campaign begins against Russia in Marseille.

And the 68-year-old was in relaxed mood as he faced the media inside the vast arena that is the Stade Velodrome – the caution of years of experience clearly laced with the excitement generated by his young emerging squad.

England have generated the usual positive messages from inside their camp in secluded Chantilly but what matters now is their performance in an edgy atmosphere in this sprawling city.

Hodgson must decide whether to pursue the positive game plan that could see Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool’s Adam Lallana included in a side that may yet see Leicester City’s title-winning inspiration Jamie Vardy left on the sidelines.

England have not won the opening game of either tournament Hodgson has led, in Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine and the World Cup in Brazil two years ago – a similar failure here will pile on huge pressure ahead of the key game with Wales in Lens.

The future of Hodgson himself rests on this tournament. Progression out of the group stage, a feat that was beyond England in Brazil, and after that a place in the last eight will surely see him awarded a new contract to take him to the next World Cup in Russia in 2018.

Anything less than that and there will be serious questions about whether he is the man the Football Association wants to take England forward.

It is in the hands of Hodgson and his team. And he was displaying a relaxed confidence before the serious business starts in the heat of the south of France.

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