Shay Given left out of Republic of Ireland squad but Richard Dunne returns

Shay Given: Left out of Ireland squad

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Goalkeeper Shay Given has been left out of the Republic of Ireland squad to face Serbia in a friendly in Dublin on March 5.

Speculation had been rife that Given's successful loan spell with Middlesbrough would bring him back into Ireland boss Martin O'Neill's squad.

But the 37-year-old has had to return to parent club Aston Villa, and has now received another blow by missing out on an international return.

Striker Robbie Keane has been allowed to miss the game in favour of turning out for LA Galaxy in their first MLS game of the season three days later.

"Our game against Serbia will provide us with great preparation ahead of the first of our European qualifiers in September."

Martin O'Neill

QPR defender Richard Dunne is back, but there is no place in the provisional 29-man squad for Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland who had also been widely tipped for a recall under O'Neill.

"Our game against Serbia will provide us with great preparation ahead of the first of our European qualifiers in September," said O'Neill.

"I enjoyed working with the players in November for my first taste of international football, and am looking forward to assembling the squad once again in March."

Ireland provisional squad: Goalkeepers: D Forde (Millwall), D Randolph (Birmingham), R Elliot (Newcastle).

Defenders: R Keogh (Derby), M Wilson (Stoke), S Coleman (Everton), J O'Shea (Sunderland), A Pearce, S Kelly (both Reading), D Delaney (Ipswich), R Dunne (QPR).

Midfielders: J McCarthy (Everton), C Clark (Aston Villa), S Ward (Brighton), G Whelan (Stoke), P Green (Leeds), A Reid (Nott'm Forest), A McGeady (Everton), A Pilkington (Norwich), J McClean (Wigan), S Quinn, D Meyler (both Hull), W Hoolahan (Norwich).

Strikers: S Long (Hull), D Murphy (Ipswich), J Walters (Stoke), K Doyle (QPR), A Stokes (Celtic), S Cox (Nott'm Forest).