Robbie Keane scored twice as the Republic of Ireland eased to a 5-0 win over a Pistoia select XI in Tuscany on Tuesday. 

Keane put Ireland ahead on 18 minutes with a crisp strike from the edge of the box. Simon Cox tapped in a second before setting up a third for Keane on the half hour. 

Second half goals from substitutes Shane Long and Jonathan Walters sealed a comfortable victory on a night free of injury worries. Discarded defender Kevin Foley played 45 minutes after he was introduced as a half-time sub.

The 13,000-capacity Marcello Melani stadium, which has seen better days, was the venue couple for what turned out to be a gentle run-out and confidence-boosting exercise for Giovanni Trappatoni's men.

Trapattoni sprang some surprises with his team selection, notably by starting captain Robbie Keane when he named Jonathan Walters in the team after training yesterday.

Five of the team here started the 1-0 win over Bosnia at the weekend, with Glenn Whelan, Darren O'Dea, John O'Shea, Shay Given and Damien Duff given a night off.

The opposition were made up of local players from the lower tiers of Italian football, with Borgo A Buggiano and US Pistoiese providing most of the players.

Ireland dominated possession and territory, with the home side chasing shadows. The local starting XI had never played together as a team and it showed.

Keane put Ireland ahead on 18 minutes after the home defence were caught in possession on the edge of the box. Keane twisted into space and fired a left foot shot into the top corner.

The home outfit almost equalised moments later as Corrado Colombo, who was at Inter Milan at the same time as Robbie Keane, asked a questioned of Westwood with a strike that hit the outside of the post.

Keane and McClean wasted chances to double the lead before Cox grabbed a second on the half hour.

The West Brom striker tapped home a rebound after keeper Francesco Gaffino had saved his initial shot from Stephen Hunt's left-wing cross.

Cox turned provider soon after as Keane grabbed his second of the night with a cool finish.

The goals deflated the locals and the pace of the game slowed from there, with some Irish players noticeably pulling out of challenges.

Trapattoni said he would make several changes and Westwood, Dunne, McClean, Keane, who swapped jerseys with Colombo, were replaced at half-time. David Forde, Shane Long, Jonathan Walters and the unlucky Foley coming on.

Long and Walters both failed to find the net with close-range headers, while at the other end Mariano Taddeucci produced a smart save from Forde.

Long made up for his earlier miss by knocking in the fourth of the night. He raced through after breaking the offside trap and hammered the ball high past Gaffino.

Darron Gibson and Stephen Ward entered the fray late on by which time the game had almost slowed to walking pace.

There was still time for Foley to have an impact on the game as his free-kick was fumbled into the path of Walters, who made no mistake from four yards to complete the scoring.

Ireland's next game is against Hungary in Budapest on Monday evening and they can expect a far tougher test than they got here tonight in the shadow of the Tuscan hills.

Republic of Ireland: 16 Westwood (23 Forde h/t); 24 McShane, 5 Dunne (13 Foley h/t), 2 St Ledger (3 Ward '71), 12 Kelly; 17 Hunt, 21 Green, 8 Andrews (18 Gibson '71), 22 McClean (19 Long h/t); 20 Cox, 10 Keane (14 Walters h/t).

Subs not used: 7 McGeady, 9 Doyle.

Pistoia representative selection:

Goalkeepers: Tommaso Strambi, Francesco Gaffino

Defenders: Alessandro Di Stefano, Francesco Lotti, Francesco Calanchi, Federico Settepassi, Massimo Tarli, Matteo Baldaccini, Roberto Scaffai, Lorenzo Pollini.

Midfielders: Thomas Cortese, Samuele Ceciarini, Mirko Maretti, Federico Pellegrini, Mirko Borracchini, Claudio Santini, Corrado Columbo.

Forwards: Mariano Taddeucci, Gianluca Bugelli, Lorenzo Romani, Simone Pisani, Gabriele Cerri, Tommaso Pieroni.

Referee: Mico Mangiolandi (Pistoia)

Assistants: Vincento Orlando and Alessandro Pugi.