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England recall Newcastle's Parker

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LONDON, England -- Newcastle United midfielder Scott Parker has been recalled by England coach Steve McClaren for next month's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Macedonia and Croatia.

Parker, who joined Newcastle from Chelsea in 2005, has impressed this season and will get the chance to add to his tally of two caps, the last of which came in March 2004.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney returns to the squad for the first time since the World Cup finals.

He has been suspended for the red card he received against Portugal in the quarterfinals.

Ledley King, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville are also back in the 24-man squad.

Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves is out with a broken leg while Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon in also unavailable because of a knee injury.

McClaren told "Scott is captain at Newcastle, he's having a very good run in the team, he's playing well and he is a leader.

"He is a player who epitomizes what we are all about - team ethic and a winning attitude."

Parker's two caps were earned as a substitute. He came on for 24 minutes in a 3-2 defeat to Denmark in November 2003 and made a 12-minute appearance as England lost 1-0 to Sweden, four months later.

He was then dropped on to the stand-by list for Euro 2004 and never picked again by Sven-Goran Eriksson

Chelsea's Joe Cole is still not fit after suffering a reaction to the knee injury he picked up in pre-season.

Rooney is one of seven Manchester United players in McClaren's 24, including keeper Ben Foster, who is on loan at Watford.

Charlton striker Darren Bent has dropped down into the under-21 squad to make way for Rooney, who is likely to play alongside Peter Crouch against Macedonia.

Maximum points

The Liverpool striker has scored 11 goals in 14 England games, including the winner in Skopje earlier this month, which secured maximum points from their first two qualifiers.

Gary Neville and Carragher return after injury ruled them out of the games against Andorra and Macedonia, earlier this month.

Tottenham's Michael Dawson and Charlton's Luke Young have both been dropped by McClaren and there is no place for Jonathan Woodgate, who has been in good form since moving to Middlesbrough from Real Madrid.

There is no way back for David Beckham, despite the injury to Spurs winger Aaron Lennon.

England, who top Group E after winning both their opening matches, host Macedonia on October 7 and play Croatia four days later in Zagreb.

Parker's previous two appearances for England were as a substitute.

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