England handed major fitness boost ahead of World Cup quarter-final with France

Mitch Wilks
Gareth Southgate's men have been boosted
Gareth Southgate's men have been boosted / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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Declan Rice has returned to England training ahead of their World Cup quarter-final against France.

West Ham captain Rice, along with Newcastle's Callum Wilson, sat out England's training session on Wednesday - a concern with a huge tie against the reigning world champions just days away.

But while striker Wilson missed out due to a minor muscle strain, the midfielder sat out as a result of illness and is now believed to be good to go once again.

Kalvin Phillips spoke on Rice in a pre-match press conference, explaining: "I believe Dec is fit, he's back in training and he's fine.

He added: "If something goes wrong, then I'll be there and I'll do my best to be fit for 90 minutes. I want to play as many minutes as possible."


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Phillips has had to play second fiddle to Rice so far in Qatar, coming into the tournament having only just recovered from a lengthy injury layoff himself. As a result, Rice has started every game so far for Gareth Southgate and played a key role at the base of midfield.

There is a possibility that the two could play together with the Three Lions tipped to adopt a more defensive setup against France, although the stellar form of Jude Bellingham so far at the World Cup, combined with Phillips' lack of match sharpness, means a starting berth for the Manchester City man is unlikely.

Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling is heading back to Qatar to rejoin the England camp. The Chelsea forward returned to the UK after his home in Surrey was the subject of a break-in.

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