Defender heading to France for World Cup warm-up tournament
Rico Henry has been called up to the England Under-20 squad for a FIFA Under-20 World Cup warm-up tournament in France later this month. The defender, who signed for The Bees from Walsall in August, has been selected in Paul Simpson’s 22 man squad as preparations continue for this summer’s World Cup in South Korea.
The Young Lions head to Brittany this weekend before taking on Portugal at the Stade de Chateau Bily in Saint-Brieuc on Thursday 23 March. Next up after that are the hosts, France, on Saturday 25 March, at the Stade Fred Aubert in Saint-Brieuc before the final game against Senegal at the Stade Municipal du Haut-Champ in Ploufragan Ville on Tuesday 28 March.
The 19-year-old defender has been capped four times by England at Under-19 level but he is yet to win a cap at Under-20 level. His start to life at Griffin Park was disrupted by a shoulder injury which kept him out for five months but he has been impressive on his return, starting The Bees last six Sky Bet Championship matches.
Speaking to the FA about his squad, the former Derby County and Newcastle Unites coach Simpson said: “Rico Henry, from Brentford, has been in the squad before, but he has been injured, so it gives us an opportunity to have a look at some new faces. We’re limited to taking 22 players in this competition and I have a list of 48 names who could all come in. So it’s been a really tough task to stick on 22, but I’ve said to those not involved for now that they need to keep working and push their way back in.”
The draw for the Under-20 World Cup was also made earlier this week by Diego Maradona, with England joining Korea Republic, Guinea and Argentina in Group A. The group stages kick-off on Saturday 20 May with the knock-out stages beginning ten days later and running through to the final in the Suwon National Stadium on Sunday 11 June.