Socceroo Wright up against Rooney

Bailey Wright is in Australias squad to face England at Sunderland on Friday night

Bailey Wright is in Australias squad to face England at Sunderland on Friday night

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Preston North End centre-half Bailey Wright is ‘buzzing’ at the prospect of lining up for Australia against England later this week.

Wright joined up with the Socceroos squad on Sunday ahead of Friday night’s friendly at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

With 10 caps under his belt and having started the last few of Australia’s World Cup qualifiers, he is likely to face Roy Hodgson’s men.

There will be no Jamie Vardy to contend with, the Leicester front man missing the game as he is getting married tomorrow.

But Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are potential opponents for Wright, who has just finished his seventh season on North End’s books.

Wright told the Evening Post: “This is a big week for us and it will be good to test ourselves against England on English turf.

“There are some good fresh English players who will be buzzing about going to the Euros in a couple of weeks.

“We have some really good players so it should be a good occasion.

“This is the middle one of England’s three warm-up games.

“Whoever they select, it will be a strong side – they have a good crop of players to choose from.

“I played against Wayne Rooney last season when we played Manchester United in the FA Cup. England 
have some good strikers and that is why you play football, to test yourself on the big 
stage.

“We want to try and cause an upset, as happened back in 2003 when Australia won 3-1 at Upton Park – we still have the bragging rights from then.”

Since North End’s season finished earlier in the month, Wright has been away for a short holiday while maintaining his fitness.

During a brief return to Preston at the weekend, he took time out to attend the annual presentation night of local junior football club Ripon Reds.

Said Wright: “I’ve had a mini-break, got a bit of sun and now it’s back to the hard work.

“After playing England, we have two games against Greece in Sydney and Melbourne.

“That is when the travelling starts again but they are important games for us ahead of the next set of World Cup qualifiers.

“Being based here, the games for my country always involve a lot of travelling, so it is nice to be playing a couple of hours up the road this week.

“After the Greece games, there are two or three weeks before pre-season training starts with Preston.

“Last summer, I got a few extra days after playing some internationals.

“But I’m more than happy to come back in with the rest of the lads, it’s up to the gaffer when he wants me.

“We’ve got a big season ahead of us.”