Irish rally driver Craig Breen will return to the World Rally Championship as Hyundai's third driver for Rally Finland in August.

Breen, who lost his Citroen seat at the end of last season, is selected after Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo both signalled their intentions not to compete in the first round of the WRC following the summer break.

Paul Nagle will continue as Breen’s co-driver.

The 29-year-old, who currently enjoys a commanding lead in the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship after four rounds of the competition, will make a preliminary appearance with the team at Rally Estonia next month.

"It's been a long and patient wait, having to watch everyone else drive this year," he said. "I am honoured to have this one-off opportunity with Paul as my co-driver."

Breen's past record in Finland - finishing in the top five on two of the last three rallies and on the podium with third place in 2016 – was a key factor in the decision says Hyundai Motorsport director Andrea Adamo.

"He has demonstrated his class at this event in the past and has a lot of experience, which will be invaluable to us.

"We are making sure he has enough preparation with Rally Estonia, an event similar in style to Finland, and the pre-event test."

Breen admitted it was a "bittersweet" feeling following the death of Manus Kelly in the Donegal International Rally at the weekend.