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Man Utd defender hoping to play a big part for England at Euro 2016

Chris Smalling's Manchester United form makes the defender confident of playing a key part for England this summer.

The 26-year-old has been one of the bright spots in a topsy-turvy campaign at Old Trafford, providing serious competition to David de Gea for United's player of the year award.

Chris Smalling has been in good form this season. Credit: PA

The United defender has come a long way since his only previous major international tournament two years ago, when he only managed to feature in the World Cup dead-rubber against Costa Rica.

Smalling was forced to play the "passenger" role he wanted to avoid in Brazil, but believes the trip to France will be different.

"I have bigger expectations this time," Smalling said. "Very much so. Hopefully I will be coming off a full season and one where I felt I contributed.

"I feel I have put my name right at the forefront and after playing the last two England games I hope I can keep that shirt and carry on my good form into the summer.

"I fully expect to be a part of it if I can keep this up because club form will get you a starting place."

England's Kruis and Marler cleared to tour Australia

Kruis was cleared of biting. Credit: PA

England forwards Joe Marler and George Kruis have been cleared to tour Australia this summer following a marathon day of disciplinary hearings lasting a combined total of almost 12 hours.

Harlequins prop Joe Marler has been banned for two games as sanction for his "gypsy boy" slur against Wales forward Samson Lee during last month's RBS 6 Nations Championship victory at Twickenham.

Marler was also fined £20,000 - to be paid to a suitable equality charity - after the misconduct charge brought against him by World Rugby was upheld by a hearing in London.

Kruis was cleared of biting after a citing described by Saracens forwards coach Alex Sanderson as an "absolute travesty" was dismissed.

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