BASILDON based West Ham defender James Tomkins has been called up into the provisional England under-21 squad for the European Championship finals.

Tomkins has been a regular feature of the Hammers’ defence in the Premier League this season, although he is currently suffering from a knee injury.

Former Chalvedon School pupil Tomkins has been joined in the 40-man provisional squad by Upton Park team-mate, striker Freddie Sears.

Also named in the squad is former Southend United striker Gary Hooper.

Hooper has scored 19 goals this season for Scottish giants Celtic following his £2.4million signing from Scunthorpe United last summer.

The final squad will be announced by boss Stuart Pearce closer to the finals, which are being held in Denmark from June 10-25.

Meanwhile, Hammers manager Avram Grant has recalled Jordan Spence from Bristol City to bolster his defensice options as West Ham battle to avoid relegation.

The Irons are currently bottom of the Premier League with three games to go and could be without Tomkins and Matthew Upson (dead leg) for the run-in.

Right-back Spence, 20, has impressed while on loan at Ashton Gate, making 11 appearances.

>West Ham striker Robbie Keane has been called up into the provisional Republic of Ireland squad for the Carling Nations Cup matches against Northern Ireland (May 24) and Scotland (May 29) plus the Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia on June 4.