Trio back on U21 duty

Republic of Ireland Under-21 boss Don Givens has included three players with senior international experience for the opening European Championship clash with Russia at the Torpedo Stadium in Moscow on September 7.

Republic of Ireland Under-21 boss Don Givens has included three players with senior international experience for the opening European Championship clash with Russia at the Torpedo Stadium in Moscow on September 7.

Sunderland winger Thomas Butler, Arsenal striker Graham Barrett and Stockport County defender Jim Goodwin all made their senior debuts in the 3-0 victory over Finland in Helsinki a fortnight ago.

Now they revert to the Under-21 squad as several senior players have returned from injuries.

Butler started the game against the Finns while Barrett and Goodwin were late second-half substitutes with the Arsenal man scoring the third goal on 84 minutes to ensure a 3-0 victory.

Givens has included two local League of Ireland players – central defender Jason McGuinness (Bohemians) and Shelbourne winger Wesley Houlihan in the squad.

McGuinness played in the 1-0 victory over the Finns in an Under-21 friendly a fortnight ago after being given his chance when Manchester United’s John O’Shea was allowed to leave the squad in preparation for the Old Trafford club’s Premiership and Champions League games.

“It’s my job to ensure a supply line of talent to senior boss Mick McCarthy and his senior panel,” said Givens.

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