‘Vard’ day at the office for PNE defender

Bailey Wright could face red-hot strikers Vardy and Kane
Bailey Wright could face red-hot strikers Vardy and Kane
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Preston centre-half Bailey Wright is preparing to do battle with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy later this month.

Wright has been named in Australia’s squad to face England at the Stadium of Light on May 27.

It is the second of three friendlies for Roy Hodgson’s men ahead of Euro 2016 in France next month.

The chance to face England is one which excites Wright and he sees it as another high point in his career.

He is currently having a short break at the end of North End’s league campaign before joining up with his international team-mates.

Wright said: “Playing England will be a good test for us obviously – they have some very good players.

“England have got a lot of good young players who are coming through so it should be a great test for us.

“I’m having a bit of a break and then I’ll get back to training.

“I will have to see what the sports scientists and the fitness coaches want me to do – they are the bosses.”

Either side of the Australia game, England face Turkey at Manchester City on May 22 and Portugal at Wembey on June 2.

Wright is one of eight British-based players named in the Socceroos squad for the clash at Sunderland.

Liverpool’s Brad Smith and Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak are among the others. With the game falling just outside an official international window, the Aussies are unable to call on their Asia-based players.

After facing England, Wright will head Down Under for two friendlies against Greece in early June – the second of which is in his home city Melbourne.

Said Wright: “We are playing Greece in Sydney and then in Melbourne.

“There are big Greek communities in both cities and I think that is one of the reasons why the games have been arranged.

“They should be well attended and, of course, Greece are a good team too.”

Wright will have plenty of travelling to do in the coming months as Australia bid to reach the 2018 World Cup.

Their group for the second stage of qualifying sees them up against Iraq, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and UAE.

“We would certainly put ourselves as favourites,” said Wright. “The standards we set ourselves mean we always set out to win every game.

“There are a few tough games for us and which offer us different challenges.

“Iraq away should be an interesting one – we don’t know where we will be playing that game. I am sure it will be somewhere in the Middle East, but probably not in Iraq.”

Wright will join up with Australia on the back of a good season, one in which he started 38 league games and three more in the Capital One Cup.