England's World Cup chances dim sans Rooney

England's chances of winning the World Cup in South Africa are 100 per cent reliant on striker Wayne Rooney avoiding injury, former captain Alan Shearer said.

Shearer, one of England's most prolific strikers of recent times, believes that without Rooney's goalscoring prowess, it will be impossible for Fabio Capello's team to bring home the trophy for the first time in more than half a century.

"Wayne Rooney to England is the same as Wayne Rooney to Manchester United," Shearer said on Monday. "He's a huge player. If he were to get injured between now and the World Cup, it would be a disaster. Could it kill their hopes Absolutely."

Rooney has scored 26 goals in all competitions this season, including four in one game against Hull City last month.

"We've known about Wayne's skill but now he is scoring regularly," said Shearer. "He's getting the reward for channelling his energy in the right way. The best thing that has happened to Wayne was Cristiano Ronaldo leaving United. He's filled the gap brilliantly."

An iconic figure in English football, Shearer shrugged off suggestions that John Terry being stripped of the England captaincy following damaging revelations about his private life would harm England's chances.

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