The pair have just eight England under-21 caps between them yet both have leapfrogged Gareth Southgate's squad into Hodgson's for the first time, overtaking the likes of Leon Osman, Scott Parker and Adam Johnson in the pecking order.
"They have special skills," Hodgson argued. "It's important that players who have done extremely well get the recognition they deserve."
He also gave his backing to Joe Hart after a series of recent errors has left the Manchester City goalkeeper facing criticism. Hart is joined in the squad by Celtic's Fraser Forster, who has benefitted from West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster missing three months with a stress fracture.
SQUAD. Forster (Celtic), Hart (Man City), Ruddy (Norwich); Baines (Everton), Cahill, Cole (both Chelsea), Jagielka (Everton), Johnson (Liverpool), Jones, Smalling (both Man Utd), Walker (Tottenham); Barkley (Everton), Carrick, Cleverley (both Man Utd), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Man City), Sterling (Liverpool), Townsend (Tottenham), Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal); Defoe (Tottenham), Lambert (Southampton), Rooney, Welbeck, Young (all Man Utd) Sturridge (Liverpool)