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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 9 March 2021
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Richard Dunne makes his competitive comeback after a year on the sidelines

The Ireland defender came through 90 minutes for the first time since May 2012 in QPR’s Capital One Cup win.

Dunne (file photo).
Dunne (file photo).
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

THERE WAS GOOD news for Ireland last night as Richard Dunne returned to competitive football for the first time in 15 months.

The 33-year-old defender spent all of last season out on the sidelines having picked up a groin injury during Euro 2012 and undergoing three operations before being released by Aston Villa in May.

Dunne has since joined Harry Redknapp’s QPR, relegated to the Championship last term, and started in their 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Exeter before completing his first competitive 90 minutes at club level since May 2012.

It will come as a boost to Giovanni Trapattoni, who will be hoping to get the experienced centre-half back involved for next month’s World Cup qualifiers with Sweden and Austria.

Meanwhile, Anthony Pilkington and Simon Cox have withdrawn from the squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Wales in Cardiff.

Pilkington, who has yet to make his senior debut despite being included squads on five occasions, picked up a knee injury on duty for Norwich while Nottingham Forest striker took a knock to his ankle in their win over Hartlepool last night.

With David Forde undergoing surgery on his left knee yesterday, West Ham goalkeeper Stephen Henderson has been called up as back-up to Keiren Westwood and Darren Randolph.

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