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England Call For Clarets Pair

James Tarkowski and Nick Pope included in squad for first time

15 March 2018

James Tarkowski and Nick Pope have both been called up to the senior England squad for the first time in another notable double for the Clarets.

The pair have been included in Gareth Southgate’s 27-man squad for high-profile friendlies against the Netherlands and former world champions Italy later this month.

They follow in the footsteps of former Turf Moor team-mates Michael Keane and Tom Heaton, who were selected together in November, 2016 after Keane had been a late addition to the squad the previous month.

Prior to that, Martin Dobson and Alan Stevenson had been the last Burnley pair to be picked for the same England squad for a game in Portugal in 1974.

The call-up for Tarkowski and Pope reflects outstanding seasons for the pair and a rapid rise to Premier League prominence with the Clarets.

Tarkowski, who joined Burnley from Brentford in January, 2016, started his first top-flight game at Crystal Palace last April and helped Sean Dyche’s side secure a first away win of the season and, effectively, their Premier League status.

Following the sale of Keane to Everton last summer, the central defender, 25, secured a regular starting place and, in partnership with Ben Mee, has been a key player in the Clarets’ climb to seventh place in the table.

Tarkowski, who began his career with Oldham Athletic, has started 25 games for the Clarets this season in a back line that has kept 11 Premier League clean sheets.

Pope has been in goal on each of those occasions since replacing injured club captain Heaton in September.

Signed from Charlton Athletic in July, 2016, Pope, 25, made his Premier League debut from the bench against Crystal Palace and has since racked up 26 starts.

His form has earned him one of four goalkeeping slots in Southgate’s squad for the World Cup warm-up games in Amsterdam against the Dutch on Friday, 23 March and against Italy at Wembley on Tuesday, 27 March.

If either player wins a cap, they will add to Burnley’s England roll-call which saw midfielder Jack Cork become the 27th Claret to play for England when he appeared as a substitute against Germany last November.

Congratulations to both players from everyone at Burnley Football Club.

England squad: 

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Alfie Mawson (Swansea)

Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (all Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Jake Livermore (West Brom)

Forwards: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

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