Wexford Youths striker Rianna Jarrett has put her injury nightmare behind her to earn a recall to the Ireland women’s squad for the first time since she made her senior debut against Italy in the Cyprus Cup in April 2016.
After completing her rehabilitation from the third ACL injury of her career suffered during that match, Youths striker Jarrett has been named in Colin Bell’s 22-player squad for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Norway.
The 23-year old has made seven appearances and scored nine goals for Women’s National League Champions Wexford Youths this season and replaces Celtic striker Ruesha Littlejohn, who has been out injured since the Netherlands fixture.
Bell paid tribute to Jarrett’s resilience in working her way back to the top level. “To come back from three ACL injuries requires a huge amount of hard work, commitment, and desire, and she should be incredibly proud of her efforts so far.”
Megan Campbell and Stephanie Roche are long-term absentees while Roma McLaughlin misses out with a leg injury having only just returned to action with Shelbourne Ladies. Heather Payne, Amy Boyle-Carr and Saoirse Noonan also miss out due to their Leaving Certificate.
Ireland are boosted by the return of defender Harriet Scott. The Player of the Year has recovered from a broken collarbone which kept her out of the Slovakia and the Netherlands fixtures in April.
Midfielder Tyler Toland returns from a hand injury.
Bell said: “We’re delighted to see Harriet return to the squad. She picked up another injury during her comeback from the collarbone but we’re monitoring her closely and we hope she’ll be fit for both games.
“She’s been in great form this season for Wexford Youths and I really feel that if she can continue to work hard and keep getting fitter and stronger with every game, she could be an important player for us in the future.
“These are two crucial games against Norway, the top seeds in the group, and we’ll have to be at our very best to get the results we need. The players have been excellent so far this campaign but we need two big performances both at Tallaght Stadium and in Norway.”
Ireland face Norway on June 8 at 5.30pm at Tallaght Stadium before they travel to Stavanger for the away fixture on Tuesday, June 12, kick-off 5pm (6pm local time).
Republic of Ireland squad to face Norway
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Manchester City), Amanda Budden (Cork City), Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne Ladies).
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading), Sophie Perry (Brighton and Hove Albion), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire O’Riordan (Wexford Youths), Aislinn Meaney (Galway WFC)
Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (Peamount United), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United).
Attackers: Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne Ladies), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne Ladies), Zara Foley (Lakewood AFC), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United).
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