O’Neill announces Ireland squad for crucial Wales World Cup qualifier

Martin O’Neill has named a 39-man provisional Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming games against Wales and Iceland.

Reading midfielder Liam Kelly and Brentford defender John Egan have been called up to the senior squad for the first time, while Darron Gibson could be set for a return to international football after his move to Sunderland.

Conor Hourihane, who recently made the move to Aston Villa from Barnsley, could be in line for his first cap, as could Wolves full-back Matt Doherty, but there is no place for Preston North End defender Greg Cunningham despite the absence of Burnley’s Robbie Brady.


Brighton defender Shane Duffy has been ruled out through injury, but Ciaran Clark and Richard Keogh have been named in the extended panel, despite being injury concerns. Everton midfielder James McCarthy is also considered a doubt for the clash against Wales, but O’Neill is willing to give the 26-year-old every opportunity to prove his fitness.

Ireland host Wales in a World Cup qualifier at Landsdowne Road on March 24 before welcoming Iceland to Dublin for a friendly on March 28.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (EXTENDED)

Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce (Derby County), Paul McShane (Reading), Andy Boyle (Preston North End), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), John Egan (Brentford), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady, Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady (Burnley), David Meyler (Hull City), Liam Kelly (Reading), Darron Gibson (Sunderland), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)
Forwards: Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Shane Long (Southampton), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Daryl Murphy (Newcastle United), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)

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