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England’s Rice misses training with illness

England midfielder Declan Rice missed training ahead of Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final with France due to an unspecified illness.

Rice did not take part in the session at the Al Wakrah on Wednesday although it was not clear how serious his illness is.

Rice, the West Ham United midfielder, has started in all four of England’s matches in Qatar and is a key component of Gareth Southgate’s midfield.

Playing in the defensive holding role, Rice has formed an excellent understanding with 19-year-old Jude Bellingham with the pair particularly effective in the 3-0 round-of-16 win over Senegal.

The most obvious replacement for Rice, in the event that he were to miss the France game, would be Kalvin Phillips.

Phillips was a central part of England’s run to the Euro 2020 final last year but following a move to Manchester City, injuries have limited his minutes and he only returned to action just before the tournament.

Southgate also was without back-up striker Callum Wilson who continues to deal with a minor strain.

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