England: Jamie Vardy, Charlie Austin & Tom Heaton in squad

England: Roy Hodgson explains Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin decision

Leicester forward Jamie Vardy and QPR striker Charlie Austin have been named in England's squad to play the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia in June.

Vardy, 28, has four Premier League goals this season, while Austin, 25, has netted 17 times for relegated QPR.

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton, 29, is also called up for the first time.

England, who are unbeaten in nine games, play the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on 7 June before a Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia a week later.

Roy Hodgson's side are top of Group E after winning all five qualifying games, six points clear of second-placed Slovenia as they aim to reach the tournament in France.

2016 European Championship Qualifying Group E
1. England5500151+1415
2. Slovenia5302104+69
3. Switzerland5302113+89
4. Lithuania5203310-76
5. Estonia511315-44
6. San Marino5014017-171

Everton defender Leighton Baines will be out until the start of pre-season after undergoing ankle surgery and misses out.

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, who has been linked with a move to Manchester City after rejecting a new contract worth £100,000-per-week, is among the 24-man squad.

Austin and Vardy get their chance as Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has a hip injury, while Tottenham's Harry Kane, West Brom's Saido Berahino and Burnley's Danny Ings have been called up for the European Under-21 Championship squad.

"We have always had our eye on Austin but up to this point we have had the full quota of forward players," said Hodgson.

"He will get an opportunity to show us what he can do in training and in matches, though I can't promise him a game. I am pleased to welcome him into the fold. I have heard good things about him and know he is a good player."

Jamie Vardy and Tom Heaton
Leicester's Jamie Vardy and Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton could make their England debuts on 7 June

Vardy, who has made 33 Premier League appearances for the Foxes this season, was playing non-league football with Fleetwood in the 2011-12 campaign.

"I watched him at Fleetwood and knew he had the pace and desire to run in behind players," added Hodgson. "That is always an interesting quality for coaches and I have seen his performances in the latter part of the season with Leicester.

"He is another player, alongside Austin, that it will be nice to get to know him better."

Statistics on England's new squad members
Jamie Vardy has as many assists from open play as Chelsea's Eden Hazard in the Premier League this season (eight).
Tom Heaton is the only goalkeeper to have played every minute in the Premier League.
Harry Kane (20) is the only Englishman to score more Premier League goals in 2014-15 than Charlie Austin (17).

England's 24-man squad

Goalkeepers: Rob Green (QPR), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Ryan Mason (Tottenham), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Forwards: Charlie Austin (QPR), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

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