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Newcastle United's Steven Taylor called up to England squad
NEWCASTLE United defender Steven Taylor has been called up for England's World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday after Chelsea defender Gary Cahill was ruled out with injury.
Taylor, whose only previous involvement with the senior squad was as an unused squad member for a friendly against Germany in 2007, has been rewarded for a series of excellent recent displays for the Magpies.
The 27-year-old has represented England at every representative level from under-16s to the B team, and joins fellow centre-halves Joleon Lescott, Chris Smalling and Steven Caulker in the squad for Friday's game in San Marino.
Cahill will be reassessed before next Tuesday's match with Montenegro, in the hope that he will have recovered in time to face the Group H leaders in Podgorica.
Taylor, who is due to link up with the rest of the squad this morning, 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."
Magpies manager Alan Pardew added: "This is a fully-deserved call-up for Steven. 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."