James stars for England

Young Hammers defender James Tomkins was on international duty on Tuesday evening.

The promising centre-half, who celebrates his 17th birthday today, played the full 90 minutes for England's under-17 side in a 2-2 draw with Italy at Huddersfield Town's McAlpine Stadium.

The match was the first of three in the space of five days for England, as part of the Elite qualifying round for the UEFA European Under-17 Championships, which take place in Luxembourg in May.

England face Bulgaria at Barnsley on Thursday evening, and then take on Russia at Scunthorpe on Saturday. They will need to finish top of the four-team group in order to qualify for the finals along with seven other countries.

Basildon-born James has been a regular at under-17 level with England this season, and has also made several appearances for the reserve team at Upton Park.

*Click here for more information on the England under-17 matches this week.