Republic of Ireland will miss O'Shea's dedication and humility: Andrews

John O'Shea
John O'Shea will take the acclaim of the Republic of Ireland fans for the final time against the USA in Dublin on Saturday

Keith Andrews believes the Republic of Ireland will miss John O'Shea's dedication and humility.

Former Republic international Andrews has paid tribute to O'Shea as the defender prepares to make his 118th and final appearance for his country.

O'Shea, 37, will play against the USA in Dublin on Saturday evening to receive the acclaim of the nation he has represented for almost 17 years.

The USA friendly follows the Republic's 2-0 defeat away to France on Monday.

"I just always remember his dedication and his humility," said Andrews of his former international team-mate.

"For coming into an environment where he would be playing with Championship players or lower Premier League players after playing the previous week with Paul Scholes or Roy Keane, there was just nothing big-time about him whatsoever.

"The dedication and the humility are what strike me more than anything.

"What a servant and what a player he's been over such a long, long period."

John O'Shea and Robbie Keane
John O'Shea and Robbie Keane played integral roles for the Republic of Ireland for many years

O'Shea was a key member of a strong generation of players, along with Shay Given, Kevin Kilbane, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane, to have provided the backbone of the Irish team.

His influence has been retained even in the last two or three years when his involvement on the pitch has receded.

"Those players were such a huge part of the starting line-up for such a long time," Andrews continued.

"They were pivotal players. John has been a key, key figure in our history."

O'Shea's departure from the international stage comes with a man Andrews regards as a potential long-term successor just two appearances into his senior career.

West Ham's Declan Rice, 19, has impressed in both defence and midfield against Turkey and France.

"For me, he will probably be a centre-back eventually, but it's about game-time," Andrews added.

"It's about experience and the fact that he alternates between them [central defence and midfield] at such a high level just shows you what a good player he is.

"You see Declan Rice bossing people around, which is very unusual for a kid in that environment to be able to do.

"He's an organiser and he's a leader already in the way he plays and the way he communicates."