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Sean Maguire has been ruled out of Ireland's World Cup play-off against Denmark

The player is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury earlier this week.

Sean Maguire Maguire made his international debut against Moldova last month. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

SEAN MAGUIRE WILL play no part in Ireland’s upcoming World Cup play-off against Denmark after suffering a hamstring injury which could rule him out for up to three months.

Maguire made his international debut against Moldova last month and was included in manager Martin O’Neill’s provisional 34-man squad for the play-off.

The 23-year-old played a full 90 minutes in Preston North End’s Championship fixture against Aston Villa on Wednesday, however has since suffered a torn hamstring which will require surgery.

“North End’s Irish international forward Sean Maguire will undergo an operation after picking up an injury to his hamstring,” the club said on Saturday afternoon.

“The No.24 has suffered a similar injury to the one that has ruled out Greg Cunningham since the second week of the season and is expected to be out for an extended period.

“The striker will join the likes of Cunningham, Tommy Spurr and Tom Clarke on a rehabilitation programme.”

The news comes as a blow ahead of next Saturday’s first leg in Copenhagen, with Jonathan Walters also confirmed to be ruled out during last week’s squad announcement.

Maguire was included alongside Shane Long, Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick, Scott Hogan and Aiden O’Brien in manager O’Neill’s provisional squad named last Thursday.

The former Cork City striker has began life well since joining the Lilywhites in July. He scored on his non-competitive debut, as well as four Championship goals in his first 13 appearances on top of  a handful of assists and man of the match performances.

Birmingham City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship - St Andrews Maguire has scored four goals in 13 appearances in the Championship this season. Source: David Davies

The striker capped off a brilliant week when he scored an excellent solo effort for Preston against Brentford last Saturday, just days after being crowned a League of Ireland Premier Division champion, as well as top goalscorer for 2017 with 20 goals in 21 appearances for City.

Manager O’Neill is hopeful that Nottingham Forrest striker Murphy returns to full fitness after missing the side’s last two games when they take on QPR this afternoon.

He scored two goals against Moldova and is currently the highest-scoring forward in the Ireland squad for Saturday’s first leg, with six Championship goals in 13 appearances so far this season.

Ireland take on Denmark in Copenhagen in seven days’ time before the return leg in Dublin on Tuesday 14 November aiming to qualifying for a first World Cup since 2002.

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Sean Maguire takes on Ireland team-mate Daryl Horgan in a battle of wits

‘The adrenaline is still pumping through my body just thinking about it’

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