Big news for the League of Ireland as Jack Byrne is called into the Republic of Ireland senior international squad:

Jack Byrne

Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne has replaced the injured Callum O’Dowda (who has an injured knee) in the Republic of Ireland senior squad for the opening Euro 2020 qualifiers away to Gibraltar on March 23rd and at home to Georgia three days later.

Republic boss Mick McCarthy was at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night to watch Byrne score a superb goal in an impressive display as his new club moved four points clear at the summit of the League of Ireland Premier Division thanks to a 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers.

Byrne is the fourth uncapped player to be included by McCarthy alongside West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen (who is on loan at Charlton), Luton striker James Collins and Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers.

Cullen and Burnley defender Kevin Long came into the panel on Friday after Alan Browne and Ronan Curtis were ruled out by injury.

“He was the best player by a distance in a good team performance by Sharmock Rovers and his goal was the icing on the cake,” McCarthy has told the FAI website.

“I was impressed with his vision, his range of passing and his passion. Robbie (Keane) has trained with Jack with the senior team before and speaks highly of him so I wasn’t surprised by his contribution.”

Republic of Ireland squad for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers v Gibraltar and Georgia:

GOALKEEPERS: D. Randolph (Middlesbrough), K. Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), M. Travers (Bournemouth).

DEFENDERS: S. Coleman (Everton), M. Doherty (Wolves), R. Keogh (Derby), J. Egan (Sheffield United), S. Duffy (Brighton), E. Stevens (Sheffield United)

MIDFIELD: A. Judge (Ipswich), J. Hendrick (Burnley), C. Hourihane (Aston Villa), A. Browne (Preston), H. Arter (Cardiff), G. Whelan (Aston Villa), R. Brady (Burnley), J. Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), J. McClean (Stoke)

STRIKERS: S. Long (Southampton), S. Maguire (Preston), R. Curtis (Portsmouth), D. McGoldrick (Sheffield United), J. Collins (Luton)

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