Tomkins takes his chance

James Tomkins turned in an assured display on his first competitive start for England as they drew 1-1 with Germany at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship on Monday night.

The point gained in Halmstad means the Young Lions top Group B, with Germany finishing two points adrift in second. Spain's 2-0 win against Finland proved academic as they had depended on an third straight England victory to have any chance of progress. The selection of 20-year-old Tomkins came as Stuart Pearce made a number of changes including resting captain Mark Noble before Friday's semi-final in Gothenburg with either Italy, Sweden, Serbia or Belarus - with Group A to be finalised on Tuesday.

Germany took the lead through Gonzalo Castro on five minutes but Jack Rodwell equalised with a header on 29 minutes. Tomkins was winning his third cap at this level, having played at every age group for England before this month. It was his third successive Monday night action. He made his U21 debut on 8 June in a 7-0 friendly win against Azerbaijan before the Young Lions departed for the finals in Sweden and then figured late off the bench on a week ago in a 2-1 opening-day victory against Finland.