Roy Keane is hoping that some of the inexperienced players who have been at the Republic of Ireland’s training camp in Cork can go on to become international regulars.

West Ham’s Declan Rice, Kevin Long of Burnley and Preston North End’s Alan Browne are all uncapped and are all part of the training camp at Fota Island.

There are other inexperienced, mostly Championship-level players at the get-together and they are likely to get their chance to impress in two friendly games in June.

Ireland travel to the USA to take on Mexico on 1 June and host Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium on 4 June before the crunch World Cup Group D Qualifier against Austria in Dublin on 11 June.

And Keane is hopeful that the youngsters will take the chance and nail down a regular spot in future Ireland squads.

"They’re here because we feel they are good players," said the assistant manager. "We haven’t got the biggest pool of players and we have had injuries so these lads who are here have enjoyed the three days.

"But it’s one thing having a few days at a training camp; throwing them into an international game against tough opposition will be a test for them. We hope that more than one player, maybe a few, shows they want to be part of the Irish squad going forward for the next few years.

"The manager is keeping his options open and we’ll have lads joining in with us next week. All the lads who have been here over the last few days will be going to the States for the Mexico game.

"What we can’t do over the next few weeks is analyse the lads that aren’t involved. We have to focus on the new lads that are here and involved and who have done well over the campaign and get ready for the Austria game."

Roy Keane in good humour with the media in Cork

The Austria clash comes at the very end of a long season and most of Ireland’s players won’t have had a competitive match for at least three weeks beforehand.

Keane acknowledges that this doesn’t make preparation easy, but insists that the management won’t be using this as an excuse.

"It does, but it will be the same for the opposition – they’ll have lads that haven’t played in a few weeks too," said manager Martin O’Neill’s right-hand man.

"We’ll have to get the balance right with the lads that need a bit of training and I think the few friendlies beforehand are ideal. We should be okay; we can’t be looking to make any excuses and we have to make sure we have everything right in our squad."