Nations League: Rotherham United striker Kyle Vassell earns first NI call-up

Kyle Vassell in action
Kyle Vassell scored 22 goals in 63 league appearances for Blackpool before joining Rotherham in June

Rotherham United striker Kyle Vassell has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for the first time.

Manager Michael O'Neill has added the 26-year-old to his panel for the upcoming Nations League double header away to Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Jamie Ward has dropped out to work on his fitness with club Charlton Athletic, while winger Niall McGinn won't travel due to a hip injury.

Vassell qualifies to play for NI through his Fermanagh-born grandfather.

The forward, who joined Rotherham from Blackpool in June, recently returned from a knee injury and came off the bench to set up The Millers' goal in their 3-1 Championship defeat by Birmingham on Saturday.

He was Blackpool's joint top scorer last season, scoring 13 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions to help the club win promotion from League Two.

That form saw the striker, who is a cousin of former England forward Darius Vassell, earn a three-year contract with the Championship outfit.

Northern Ireland face Austria in Vienna on Friday and Bosnia in Sarajevo on 15 October.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne welcomed Vassell's call-up after speaking to Northern Ireland boss O'Neill.

"Kyle Vassell has had a call-up from Northern Ireland so he will go and they will look after him for us," he said.

"A few of our lads have had international selection. That's great for them individually and great for our club if we have international players."