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European Qualifiers Group D

Republic leave defenders out

Defenders Richard Dunne and Richard Stearman have not been included in the provisional 26-man Republic of Ireland squad to face Wales in an August friendly.

Last Updated: 19/07/13 at 14:37 Post Comment

Richard Dunne: Republic of Ireland veteran misses friendly in Wales

Richard Dunne: Republic of Ireland veteran misses friendly in Wales

Giovanni Trapattoni has opted to leave Queens Park Ranger defender Dunne, 33, out of his selection to visit the Cardiff City Stadium on August 14, while Wolves' former England U21 international Stearman is overlooked despite acquiring an Irish passport last year.

Dunne, who returned to the Ireland squad after a year out in June's victory over Georgia, is still recovering from a groin injury but has been taken on QPR's pre-season tour of Austria.

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane, also 33, and Millwall winger Andy Keogh are omitted as Trapattoni looks to experiment with a younger selection.

Nowich winger Anthony Pilkington, 25, could earn his first cap having received his first Irish call-up for a friendly against Poland in February.

Ireland were unbeaten in 2013 until last month's 2-0 defeat to Spain in New York, claiming victories over Georgia and the Faroe Islands and holding England to a 1-1 draw in a Wembley friendly.

Trapattoni said: "We can draw a lot from our performances in May and June. The team showed strong character and enthusiasm against Spain, England and Georgia, and picked up three vital points against the Faroe Islands.

"The players have demonstrated that they are building on each game, and are working very well together.

"This fixture will allow us one more opportunity to prepare for the important World Cup qualifiers in September against Sweden and Austria. We will use this time to experiment and develop confidence ahead of the games.

"I am looking forward to assembling the squad in Cardiff on August 11."

Provisional Ireland squad: Forde (Millwall), Westwood (Sunderland), Randolph (Birmingham), O'Shea (Sunderland), St Ledger (Leicester), Wilson (Stoke), Coleman (Everton), Kelly (Reading), O'Dea (Metalurg Donetsk), Clark (Aston Villa), McShane (Hull), Whelan (Stoke), McCarthy (Wigan), Green (Leeds), Hendrick (Derby), McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Pilkington (Norwich), McClean (Sunderland), Brady (Hull), Meyler (Hull), Quinn (Hull), Hoolahan (Norwich), Long (West Brom), Sammon (Derby), Walters (Stoke), Cox (Nottingham Forest).

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