By Micil Glennon
Richard Dunne will miss the Republic of Ireland’s crucial Group C World Cup qualifiers with Sweden and Austria, manager Giovanni Trapattoni confirmed on Thursday.
The Aston Villa defender, who is suffering from a troublesome groin injury, has not played all season and has now been ruled out of the double-header on 22 and 26 March .
Dunne was in contention for a return to club action in January but suffered a setback in training.
The 33-year-old had surgery in August and also visited a specialist in the US but has been unable to regain fitness.
Trapattoni confirmed that Everton's Seamus Coleman and Stoke's Marc Wilson, who missed the recent friendly against Poland through injury, will be named in the squad tomorrow.
The Italian may also be without his other first choice central defender, Sean St Ledger.
The Leicester player is recovering from a hamstring injury and has not made a first team appearance for the Foxes since October.
Sunderland’s John O’Shea and Villa stand-in captain Ciaran Clark played in central defence against Poland and will now be favourites to start in Stockholm.