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Richard Dunne and Anthony Pilkington in Ireland squad

Updated: Sunday, 25 Aug 2013 20:57 | Comments

Richard Dunne seems to have found a new lease of life at QPR
Richard Dunne seems to have found a new lease of life at QPR

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Richard Dunne and Anthony Pilkington have both been included in the provisional Republic of Ireland squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier double header with Sweden and Austria.

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni was in attendance as Dunne helped his new club QPR to a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Dunne, who enjoyed a solid pre-season, played the full 90 minutes for QPR and showed no sign of the groin problems that caused him to miss all of last season.

Norwich midfielder Pilkington also makes the squad despite having withdrawn from the Ireland squad on no less than five times over the last year. 

Pilkington missed most of his club's pre-season with a knee injury but now appears to have returned to fitness.

Former Bohemians striker Paddy Madden retains his place in the set-up after making his international debut in a friendly with Wales in Cardiff earlier in the month.

However, there's still no place in the initial 29 for Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, despite previous claims from Trapattoni that the frontman remains part of his plans.

Madden, Robbie Keane, Conor Sammon, Jon Walters, Simon Cox and Shane Long are all named in the squad in preference to Doyle.

Looking forward to the games, the Ireland manager said: "We have reached the most important part of our qualifying campaign. The team performed very well against both Sweden and Austria back in March. We will look to emulate both performances, and build towards producing two positive results."

He continued: "Sweden and Austria are two very strong teams, and the qualifying table proves this. However, I believe these players have the mentality, attitude and composure to work together and get the points we need in order to qualify. We will prepare for both games next week and focus on the task facing us."

Ireland World Cup qualifier squad: Forde, Westwood, Randolph, O’Shea, O’Brien, St Ledger, Wilson, Coleman, Kelly, O’Dea, Clark, Dunne, McShane, Whelan, McCarthy,Green, Hendrick, McGeady, Pilkington, McClean,Brady, Meyler, Hoolahan, Long, Keane, Sammon, Walters, Madden, Cox.

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