Robbie Keane named in squad for upcoming internationals

Robbie Keane named in squad for upcoming internationals

Robbie Keane has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly against Oman and the opening World Cup qualifier against Serbia which follows it.

The 36-year-old LA Galaxy striker, who has 145 senior international caps to his name, has been included in a 28-man party amid speculation that he will announce his retirement from international football after the Oman game on August 31.

Fellow veteran John O'Shea has also been included, although he will be assessed after suffering a hip injury during Sunderland's 2-1 derby defeat by Middlesbrough on Sunday, as will Everton's Seamus Coleman and midfielder Jeff Hendrick, ahead of the game in Belgrade on September 5.

Manager Martin O'Neill said: "After the excitement of UEFA Euro 2016, it seems as if we had little time to enjoy some excellent performances during that tournament.

"The World Cup qualifying campaign is already upon us and we have a difficult set of fixtures in the coming months.

"The visit of Oman to the Aviva Stadium reminds us of the game they played in Dublin two years ago. That took place immediately before we embarked on our European qualifying campaign.

"This game is ideal preparation for our first qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade a few days later. The Oman game also gives us the chance to play in front of Ireland supporters who enhanced their own reputation in France. We are looking forward to both games."

Keeper David Forde, who missed out on selection for the Euro 2016 finals, returns following Shay Given's retirement from international football, while defenders Marc Wilson, Paul McShane and Alex Pearce have also been included, with Shane Duffy suspended for the Serbia game following his red card against hosts France during the summer.

There is a place too for Bristol City midfielder Callum O'Dowda, who impressed on his senior international debut as a substitute during the 2-1 friendly defeat by Belarus at Turner's Cross, Cork on May 31, while Bournemouth's Harry Arter is available after injury.

Ireland will resume competitive action having been boosted by their showing in France, where they emerged from their group with a victory over Italy before pushing eventual finalists France all the way in the last 16.

Republic of Ireland Squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), David Forde (Portsmouth)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce (Derby County) Paul McShane (Reading), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Marc Wilson (Bournemouth), Stephen Ward (Burnley)

Midfielders: James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Aiden McGeady, James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Stephen Quinn (Reading), David Meyler (Hull City), Harry Arter, Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)

Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)

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