Declan Rice set for Ireland debut against Turkey
West Ham defender has been included in Martin O’Neill’s squad for the March friendly
West Ham’s Declan Rice has been included in Martin O’Neill’s Ireland squad to face Turkey in a friendly. Photo: Getty Images
Declan Rice has been called up to the Ireland squad for the friendly clash with Turkey on March 23rd where he is expected to make his debut.
The West Ham defender – who was born in London but is eligible for Ireland through his grandparents – has made it clear he wants to represent Ireland, despite interest from England.
In a transitional year for Ireland which will see them play friendlies against France and the United States during the summer before the Nations League kicks off in September and is followed by two more friendlies with Poland and Northern Ireland, Martin O’Neill has made the move to include some new players in the 30-man squad who will head to Turkey for a three-day training camp on March 19th.
Alongside Rice – who has previously been included in provisional groups on three occasions but has never made it into the matchday squad – there call-ups for goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara and defenders Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams and Enda Stevens, all of who have never made a senior appearance.
Captain Seamus Coleman also returns to the squad for the first time since he broke his leg in the World Cup qualifier against Wales almost exactly a year ago.
Greg Cunningham, Alan Judge and Sean Maguire – who has scored three goals in his last two games for Preston North End – also come into the squad after all three recovered from long-term injuries.
O’Hara and Rice will report directly to the Ireland under-21s after the camp finishes in order to be available for the European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan on Tuesday, March 27th in Tallaght Stadium.
Republic of Ireland Squad to face Turkey in an international friendly on March 23rd
Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), John Egan (Brentford), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), David Meyler (Hull City), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), Liam Kelly (Reading), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End).