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Teenager Gavin Bazunu gets the nod as Stephen Kenny names Ireland squad for World Cup double header


Gavin Bazunu has been named in the Ireland squad

Gavin Bazunu has been named in the Ireland squad

Gavin Bazunu has been named in the Ireland squad

Gavin Bazunu is in line for his senior international debut next week after the Dubliner, on loan to Rochdale, was called up by Stephen Kenny while Aaron Connolly and James McClean are also included in his senior Ireland squad despite injuries which had threatened to keep them out of contention.

And with no return for veteran Keiren Westwood, teenager Bazunu could come into the frame to face Serbia in Belgrade next week as Kenny assesses the fitness of Liverpool's Caoimhín Kelleher, who has been sidelined in recent weeks.

With some players still facing injury worries and needing assessment, Kenny has named a 29-man squad for the three games, two qualifiers against Serbia and Luxembourg and a friendly with Qatar.

Adam Idah misses out as Norwich City prepare to send him for surgery on a groin problem but Shane Long, who has not featured regularly under Kenny, is included as is Troy Parrott, on a high after scoring his first league goal for Ipswich Town last week.

John Egan, Harry Arter and James McCarthy miss out as expected but Kenny has included McClean, who appeared to be a doubt due to a foot injury but the Derry native has insisted he can be fit in time. Brighton boss Graham Potter had suggested that Connolly's rib problem would rule him out but the Galway native is desperate to feature and has been included.

Republic of Ireland squad - Serbia, Luxembourg & Qatar

Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Kieran O'Hara (Burton Albion).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest).

Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Swansea City, on loan from Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (Preston North End, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht).

Wingers: Robbie Brady (Burnley), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City).

Strikers: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Shane Long (AFC Bournemouth, on loan from Southampton), James Collins (Luton Town), Troy Parrott (Ipswich Town, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur).

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