England’s team of also-rans have been told to leave their pants at home for Euro 2012.

Apparently the underpaid squad of stars are being provided with ‘team underwear’ for the tournament, presumably to remind John Terry, Ashley Cole and Jermaine Defoe that when they’re shagging Ukrainian call girls they’re also shagging for England.

Three Lions newbie, John Ruddy, let slip the bizarre perk of being part of the England squad, saying: “I’ve been told to take boots, gloves, trainers, a few casual clothes and toiletries. I’m under the impression everything else will be provided for me.”

The Norwich goalkeeper added: “We’ve got suits and they’re providing underwear for us. It’s surreal but that’s what being in the England squad is all about. The way you get looked after is second to none.”

It’s a smooth move from the FA as the mental image of Wayne Rooney sporting three lions on his nether regions is enough to distract even the most clinical of German defenders.

But just as we’d accepted that the “team pants” idea had no sexual overtones, a slight misreading of the fact the players will also be kitted out in “M&S” gear had us briefly visualising Frank Lampard in a gimp outfit.

Thankfully, we can confirm no sadomasochism will be taking place at Euro 2012 – unless of course you get a perverse pleasure watching England being humiliated at major tournaments. We can already imagine the France team packing their collective strap-on as they prepare to shaft England.

“It is going to be a massive opportunity for me to come up against world-class players and work with world-class players,” said Ruddy. “I can’t wait to get started. My call-up is the icing on the cake after an exceptional two years at Norwich.”

Well said John. Now bend over and get ready to take it like a man.

p.s. if you want some like in the pic go to www.proudtobebritish.co.uk