Former Republic of Ireland international defender Stephen Ward has joined League Two side Walsall.

The 35-year-old Dubliner was released by Ipswich Town in May but he has linked up with the Saddlers and is looking forward to a fresh challenge.

"It's exciting," Ward told the club website.

"I've been in with the lads training for a couple of days now, having a look at the place and I am really impressed with how the head coach is trying to go about his business and his ambition for the season.

"I've been really impressed from speaking to him and I'm really excited to get going this year."

Ward, who won 50 caps for Ireland, moved from Bohs to Mick McCarthy's Wolves back in January 2007, helping them to gain promotion to the Premier League two years later.

In the summer of 2014, he joined Burnley where he played alongside current Walsall boss Matthew Taylor.

Ward left Turf Moor in 2019 and joined Stoke City in the Championship, heading to Ipswich a year later.

"Stephen is someone who I have played with and has huge experience in the game," said Taylor.

"He’s a player that’s played at the top and for him to have a leadership role within the group in terms of what he can offer with his experience and more importantly, what he can offer on the pitch. We’re extremely happy to have someone of Stephen’s quality joining the club.

"The biggest thing for him is he wants to be part of the journey that we’re on at this football club so from my perspective, I’ve always spoken about good people first, followed by a good player and Stephen fits the mould."