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Ireland squad update: Henderson in for Westwood

The West Ham goalkeeper replaces Ireland’s new No.1 for the friendly with Oman tomorrow night.

West Ham keeper Henderson.
West Ham keeper Henderson.
Image: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

IRELAND’S TEAM TO face Oman in the international friendly at Craven Cottage has been further weakened by the news that first choice goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has returned to his club.

The Sunderland stopper, who has stepped up to become the country’s No.1 since the retirement of Shay Given, sat out training in London yesterday and the FAI confirmed last night that he will be replaced by West Ham’s Stephen Henderson.

24-year-old Henderson, whose uncle Wayne was capped at senior level, comes in as second back-up meaning Giovanni Trapattoni must decide whether to start David Forde or Darren Randolph for the final warm-up ahead of next month’s qualifiers with Germany and the Faroes Islands.

Dubliner Henderson made his first start for the Hammers in their 2-0 Capital Cup win over Crewe Alexandra two weeks ago and joins Joey O’Brien as the second West Ham player in the squad.

The former Aston Villa youth player has been capped several times for Ireland at U21 level but is yet to make the step up to senior level.

Also missing for tomorrow night’s game are captain Robbie Keane,  John O’Shea, Darren O’Dea, Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters, who were all given permission to leave after the 2-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Richard Dunne is stilled nursing a groin injury, meanwhile, while Keith Andrews is absent and Darron Gibson declined the call-up.

Kick-off against Oman is 7.30pm.

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