Birmingham City and West Brom players included in Republic of Ireland squad

Baggies defender Dara O’Shea gets his first call-up since breaking his ankle last year, and there is also a place for Blues striker Scott Hogan

West Brom defender Dara O’Shea is back in the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time since fracturing his ankle on World Cup qualifier duty in Portugal.

The 23-year-old was injured during the first half of Ireland’s heartbreaking 2-1 defeat in Faro last September, in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored a last-gasp double to deny them victory, but has been included in Stephen Kenny’s 25-man party for next week’s friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania.

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West Brom defender Dara O’Shea is back in the the Republic of Ireland squad

There is also a place for Birmingham City striker Scott Hogan, who last represented his country in October 2019, and Baggies striker Callum Robinson is also in the squad.

Elsewhere, Kenny has also handed first call-ups to Oxford midfielder Mark Sykes and Wolves striker Connor Ronan, who is currently on loan at St Mirren.

Ireland face Belgium in the FAI Centenary match at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, March 26 and then Lithuania in Dublin three days later.

Full squad

Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth, on loan from Manchester City), Mark Travers (Bournemouth)

Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham), Ryan Manning (Swansea), James McClean (Wigan), Shane Duffy (Brighton), John Egan (Sheffield United), Nathan Collins (Burnley), Dara O’Shea (West Brom), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn)

Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United, on loan from Aston Villa), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (QPR, on loan from Newcastle), Jayson Molumby (West Brom, on loan from Brighton, Alan Browne (Preston), Jason Knight (Derby), Mark Sykes (Oxford)

Callum Robinson (West Brom), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham), Will Keane (Wigan), Scott Hogan (Birmingham), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham), Connor Ronan (St. Mirren, on loan from Wolves).

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