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Declan Rice not included in Ireland squad as O'Neill confirms England discussions

Ireland open their Uefa Nations League campaign away to Wales before a friendly in Poland next month.

– Paul Dollery reports from Aviva Stadium

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Martin O’Neill today announced a provisional squad of 31 players for next month’s games against Wales and Poland.

O’Neill’s side will begin their Uefa Nations League campaign in Cardiff on 6 September, before taking on the Poles on 11 September in a friendly in Wroclaw.

Declan Rice celebrates Graham Burke's goal Declan Rice celebrates after Graham Burke's goal for Ireland against USA in June. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The squad doesn’t include versatile 19-year-old Declan Rice, who impressed while playing in three friendly internationals for Ireland earlier this year.

O’Neill confirmed this afternoon that the London-born defender/midfielder is “still deliberating” over his international future amid interest from his country of birth.

“England have obviously spoken to him,” said O’Neill, who remains “hopeful” that the West Ham United youngster will commit to Ireland, whom he has represented since U16 level.

With the game against Wales classed as a competitive fixture, Rice would no longer be able to switch allegiances were he to feature.

Elsewhere, goalkeeper Sean McDermott — who plays for Kristiansund in Norway — has been included for the first time, while Preston North End forward Callum Robinson is also in line for a competitive debut after obtaining an Irish passport via his Monaghan-born grandmother.

James McCarthy (leg), Robbie Brady, (ankle) Scott Hogan (groin) and Sean Maguire (hamstring) are all unavailable due to injuries.

Provisional Ireland squad to play Wales and Poland:

Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle (Hearts), Sean McDermott (Kristiansund BK), Kieran O’Hara (Macclesfield Town*), Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long, Stephen Ward (Burnley), John Egan, Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Shaun Williams (Millwall), David Meyler (Reading), Harry Arter (Cardiff City*), Daryl Horgan (Hibernian), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City)

Forwards: Jonathan Walters (Burnley), Shane Long (Southampton), Graham Burke, Callum Robinson (Preston North End), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall)

*Indicates player is on loan 

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Paul Dollery

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