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Luongo looking forward to England game

ENGLAND face Australia at the Stadium of Light this evening in their penultimate warm-up fixture before their Euro 2016 opener against Russia next month.

Roy Hodgson’s men will take on Portugal at Wembley next Thursday prior to boarding the plane for France, and one man who is keen to send them on their way with a defeat to reflect upon is QPR midfielder Massimo Luongo.

The Sydney-born playmaker is excited at the prospect of taking on the Three Lions, telling www.qpr.co.uk: “I’m looking forward to this one. This sort of fixture doesn’t come around too often. It’s the type of big game in your career that you want to be a part of.

“Am I keen to bloody the nose of England? Yeah, definitely! I think that’s something that would stick with me for a very long time.

“England is my home, London is my home, so it puts a nice bit of spice on the game and makes it a more meaningful one for me.

“I just want to start, that would be a big thing, it would be amazing to start this one. Beyond that, I want to go out there, play well and help my team win.”

With England’s European Championship campaign set to start in just 15 days, Luongo is anticipating a competitive edge to tonight’s fixture.

“If we were in the same position, we would want to be putting out a strong side, or perhaps experiment a little with players that may be used in the tournament,” he said.

“For the players themselves, it’s their chance to either stake their claim for a place in the side, or secure their spot in that XI for the first game.”

Luongo is also looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in the opposing dressing room tonight.

The R’s man used to play in the same youth team as Harry Kane at Spurs, while he also played under-21 and reserve football with Kyle Walker and Danny Rose. Ex-QPR loanee Andros Townsend is another former team-mate of Luongo’s.

“It will be nice to see them all again,” he added. “A lot of them have done really well and I haven’t seen them for a while so it would be great to play against them.”

Luongo won't be involved in Australia's upcoming home friendlies against Greece owing to the imminent birth of his first child.