Stephen Ward's form with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC has been rewarded with a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad for their end-of-season fixtures.
Giovanni Trapattoni's side have arranged games in Dublin against Northern Ireland (24 May) and Scotland (29 May) before a crucial UEFA EURO 2012 away qualifier in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 4 June. They are also hoping to confirm another friendly in June against Italy, Trapattoni's native country.
Trapattoni has announced a 33-strong squad for the games but five players have been included provisionally as they are currently battling with injury: defenders Sean St Ledger and Darren O'Dea, midfielders Keith Andrews and Damien Duff, and striker Kevin Doyle.
The only new face in the squad is the previously uncapped Wolves man Ward who has been a regular in the English Premier League this season. Striker Caleb Folan is also back in the fold with Ireland after his move to the United States. Folan joined MLS outfit Colorado Rapids from Hull City AFC earlier this year but has not played for his country since 2009.
Republic of Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Manchester City FC), Keiren Westwood (Coventry City FC), David Forde (Millwall FC).
Defenders: Richard Dunne (Aston Villa FC), John O'Shea (Manchester United FC), Kevin Foley (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Damien Delaney (Ipswich Town FC), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa FC), Seamus Coleman (Everton FC), Kevin Kilbane (Huddersfield Town AFC), Stephen Kelly (Fulham FC), Paul McShane (Barnsley FC), Sean St Ledger (Preston North End FC), Darren O'Dea (Celtic FC).
Midfielders: James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic FC), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City FC), Marc Wilson (Stoke City FC), Darron Gibson (Manchester United FC), Aiden McGeady (FK Spartak Moskva), Keith Fahey (Birmingham City FC), Liam Lawrence (Portsmouth FC), Keith Treacy (Preston North End FC), Stephen Ward (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Stephen Hunt (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Keith Andrews (Blackburn Rovers FC), Damien Duff (Fulham FC).
Forwards: Andy Keogh (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Anthony Stokes (Celtic FC), Caleb Folan (Colorado Rapids), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City FC), Robbie Keane (West Ham United FC), Shane Long (Reading FC), Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC).
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