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Ireland receive defensive boost

Published: Monday 8 August 2005, 16.31CET
Ireland have been boosted by the return of several key defenders ahead of the friendly against Italy.

Published: Monday 8 August 2005, 16.31CET

Ireland receive defensive boost

Ireland have been boosted by the return of several key defenders ahead of the friendly against Italy.

Steve Finnan, Gary Breen, Andy O'Brien and Richard Dunne have all been recalled to boost the Republic of Ireland's defence for the friendly against Italy in Dublin on 18 August.

Regulars return
Finnan, Breen and Dunne all missed Ireland's qualifying games in June through injury, while O'Brien has completed a suspension. Tottenham Hotspur FC forward Robbie Keane has also returned to fitness in a timely boost for manager Bryan Kerr.

Keane rested
Manchester United FC captain Roy Keane has been excused from international duty for this game, allowing the 33-year-old to keep himself fresh for the crucial FIFA World Cup qualifier with France on 7 September.

'Ideal preparation'
Kerr said: "This game against one of the aristocrats of international football will provide ideal preparation for the qualifiers over the next two months." Ian Harte and Kenny Cunningham are carrying knocks but Kerr hopes they will recover sufficiently to face the Italians.

Republic of Ireland squad
Given (Newcastle United FC), Kenny (Sheffield United FC), Colgan (Barnsley FC), Cunningham (Birmingham City FC), Breen (Sunderland AFC), O'Brien (Portsmouth FC), O'Shea (Manchester United FC), Carr (Newcastle United FC), Harte (Levante UD), Finnan (Liverpool FC), Dunne (Manchester City FC), S Reid (Blackburn Rovers FC), Miller (Manchester United FC), Holland (Charlton Athletic FC), Kavanagh (Wigan Athletic FC), Kilbane (Everton FC), A Reid (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Quinn (Sheffield United FC), Duff (Chelsea FC), Doherty (Norwich City FC), Elliott (Sunderland AFC), Morrison (Birmingham City FC), Keane (Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Last updated: 15/04/12 6.46CET

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