Wayne Rooney: Ex-England captain's introduction helping 'star-struck' team-mates - Davies

Wayne Rooney in action for DC United
Derby's deal with Wayne Rooney was announced in August

Wayne Rooney's early introduction at Derby County has allowed team-mates "star-struck" by the former England captain to get used to his presence, says Rams skipper Curtis Davies.

Rooney will make his first appearance as Derby coach in Saturday's game against QPR at Pride Park.

The 34-year-old, who has arrived on an 18-month player-coach deal, is not eligible to play until January.

"He has got to know the group, which is important," said Davies.

"Any lads that have that star-struck hysteria over him are going to be less like that when he actually joins in and is part of the group.

"He is around the group and the lads will get to know him, so when it gets to the football side of it he will just be another player, just of an elite level."

Rooney, England's all-time record scorer, first visited Rams team-mates in early November after leaving Major League Soccer side DC United in October.

Kick-off with Rooney

He has returned to the East Midlands club this week, spending time with team-mates and coaches at the club's Moor Farm training ground.

Derby manager Phillip Cocu said having Rooney on the bench as a coach is something "all look forward to."

"It is a positive for everyone and himself because it will feel like a real start," Cocu told BBC East Midlands Today.

"It is good to see that he is here, the fans will see him and he will be with us on the bench.

"He will be involved in team tactics and we can use and benefit from his experience as a player."

Davies said Rooney will be "great for the team" as one of the "elites" of the game, but also added that the former Manchester United and Everton forward's role as a coach is not being ignored.

"We all know he is a leader and done everything in the game," Davies said of Rooney, a five-time Premier League winner who also collected Champions League, FA Cup and three League Cup winners' medals in 13 years with United.

"If he says something and you don't listen, even me who is older than him, then you are fooling yourself.

"If you can lean anything from him, it is going to be good for you. It will be interesting to see what things he wants to do and the way he wants to influence sessions."