Van der Vaart added to Netherlands squad

Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has been added to the Netherlands squad for the midweek friendly against France.

The Hamburg playmaker initially missed out on selection for Wednesday's clash after being sidelined with an ankle injury.

However, after making his return to action earlier than expected in a Bundesliga defeat to Werder Bremen on Saturday, he has now been called up by national coach Louis Van Gaal.

Van der Vaart played the second half of Saturday's clash, having been out since February 15.

He will now come into consideration to play some part at the Stade de France in Paris as both sides continue their preparations towards the World Cup.

The 31-year-old Van der Vaart has made more than 100 appearances for the Netherlands since his senior international debut against Andorra in 2001.

Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh has been ruled out of the France game, though, after suffering a gash to his knee against Hannover that will keep him out for two weeks.