independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Duo left out of Ireland squad

Richard Dunne will not feature against Wales

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has not included defenders Richard Dunne or Richard Stearman in a provisional 26-man squad to face Wales in an August friendly.

The Italian has opted to leave QPR defender Dunne, 33, out of his selection to visit the Cardiff City Stadium on August 14, while Wolves' former England Under-21 international Stearman is overlooked despite acquiring an Irish passport last year.

Dunne, who returned to the Ireland squad after a year out in June's victory over Georgia, is still recovering from a groin injury but has been taken on QPR's pre-season tour of Turkey.

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane, also 33, and Millwall winger Andy Keogh are omitted as Trapattoni looks to experiment with a younger selection.

Nowich midfielder Anthony Pilkington, 25, could earn his first cap having received his first Irish call-up for a friendly against Poland in February.

Ireland were unbeaten in 2013 until last month's 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Spain, claiming impressive victories over Georgia and the Faroe Islands and holding England to a 1-1 draw in a Wembley friendly.

Trapattoni said: "We can draw a lot from our performances in May and June. The team showed strong character and enthusiasm against Spain, England and Georgia, and picked up three vital points against the Faroe Islands.

"The players have demonstrated that they are building on each game, and are working very well together.

"This fixture will allow us one more opportunity to prepare for the important World Cup qualifiers in September against Sweden and Austria. We will use this time to experiment and develop confidence ahead of the games.

"I am looking forward to assembling the squad in Cardiff on August 11."

The Football Association of Ireland confirmed the squad will be shortened ahead of the fixture to accommodate injuries.

Provisional Ireland squad: Forde (Millwall), Westwood (Sunderland), Randolph (Birmingham), O'Shea (Sunderland), St Ledger (Leicester), Wilson (Stoke), Coleman (Everton), Kelly (Reading), O'Dea (Metalurg Donetsk), Clark (Aston Villa), McShane (Hull), Whelan (Stoke), McCarthy (Wigan), Green (Leeds), Hendrick (Derby), McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Pilkington (Norwich), McClean (Sunderland), Brady (Hull), Meyler (Hull), Quinn (Hull), Hoolahan (Norwich), Long (West Brom), Sammon (Derby), Walters (Stoke), Cox (Nottingham Forest).

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