The Republic of Ireland have been dealt a major blow ahead of next week's huge Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark after striker Aaron Connolly was ruled out with a groin injury.

The 19-year-old had a scan on Monday afternoon after limping off at half-time with a groin problem in Brighton's 3-1 Premier League defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. 

The results of that scan confirmed he has a groin problem that will definitely rule him out of Thursday's friendly against New Zealand and the following Monday's Danish showdown.

"Our team doctor Alan Byrne has spoken to the Brighton medical team and had a look at the scans," McCarthy told the FAI website.

"The scans have confirmed the groin injury and Aaron won’t be ready in time for New Zealand and Denmark."

McCarthy will not be calling anyone up to replace Connolly, who made an instant impact on his senior international debut last month when he came off the bench in Georgia and nearly snatched a winner which would have edged Ireland closer to a place at next summer's finals.

Ireland were at least boosted by Darren Randolph's return to action with Middlesbrough in Saturday's 2-2 Championship draw at QPR after a three-game absence with a thigh injury.

He'll be rested for the New Zealand match but should be okay to start at the Aviva Stadium on Monday night.

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