PROUD boss Eddie Howe admitted it would “mean everything” to Cherries to have players involved in a World Cup.

England manager Gareth Southgate is tomorrow due to announce his 23-man squad for this summer’s tournament in Russia, with midfielder Lewis Cook and striker Jermain Defoe potential inclusions.

Defoe, who has 57 caps, would appear an outside bet but Cook may be among the key contenders in Southgate’s thoughts.

The 21-year-old became the first serving Cherries player to earn an England senior cap when he came on as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw with Italy in March.

Howe said: “We want the best for our players so we would be delighted for anybody who is involved with their countries in a World Cup.

“It would mean everything, not just for England but for any of our internationals.

“We are very proud whenever we see our players performing for their countries. It’s the biggest stage and a prestigious event so we wish them all well.”

Brad Smith and Adam Federici failed to secure spots in the final Australia squad while a string of Cherries’ senior internationals – including Nathan Ake, Asmir Begovic and Joshua King – missed out as their nations did not qualify.

Striker Colin Clarke was the last Cherries player to feature at a World Cup having made three appearances for Northern Ireland in Mexico in 1986.

Between then and now, only two players from the Dorset club have travelled to a major tournament – goalkeepers Gerry Peyton and Artur Boruc.

Peyton was part of the Republic of Ireland squad which journeyed to Italy for the 1990 World Cup but did not play, while Boruc was part of the Poland set-up for Euro 2016 but had to watch from the sidelines.