Euro 2020 qualifiers: Uncapped Josh Cullen added to Republic of Ireland squad

Josh Cullen was the Republic's U21 International Player of the Year in 2018
West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen is on loan at Charlton Athletic this season

Charlton's Josh Cullen has been added to the Republic of Ireland squad for their opening Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Cullen, who is on loan from West Ham, and Burnley defender Kevin Long have been drafted in after Alan Browne and Ronan Curtis were ruled out by injury.

The pair join a 23-man panel for the matches against Gibraltar and Georgia.

Cullen is the third uncapped player to be selected by manager Mick McCarthy alongside striker James Collins and goalkeeper Mark Travers.

The Republic face Gibraltar away on 23 March and Georgia at home on 26 March.

Luton Town's Collins, 28, is among five strikers included as uncapped Newport County's Padraig Amond drops out from the initial 38-man squad.

Cyrus Christie, Stephen Ward, Aiden McGeady, David Meyler and Scott Hogan are among those who also miss out.

Portsmouth striker Curtis was selected but was later forced to withdraw because of a finger injury.

The former Derry City player needed surgery to save a finger after trapping it in his front door and is likely to be out for up to six weeks.

Collins, who won 12 Republic of Ireland Under-21 caps between 2009 and 2012, has scored 20 goals in 41 appearances for the League One leaders this season.

Glenn Whelan acknowledges applause after appearing to win his final Republic cap against Northern Ireland in November
Glenn Whelan appeared to wave goodbye to international football in November but is now back in the squad

Whelan 'not retired'

Veteran midfielder Glenn Whelan retains his place in the squad even though it was assumed his international career had ended in last November's friendly against Northern Ireland.

Earlier this month, new Republic of Ireland manager McCarthy said the Aston Villa man told him he had not retired and was still available for selection.

Burnley duo Ward and Kevin Long drop out along with other defenders Sunderland's Jimmy Dunne. Blackburn's Derrick Williams and Fulham full-back Christie.

Five midfielders also miss out with Sunderland's McGeady, Everton's McCarthy, Coventry's Meyler, Millwall's Shaun Williams and Hibernian's Daryl Horgan the casualties.

The strikers to drop out are Newport's Amond, Sheffield United's Hogan and Millwall's Aiden O'Brien.

As expected, Liverpool keeper Caoimhin Kelleher is not named in the reduced squad as he will be in action for the Republic's Under-21s while uncapped Macclesfield goalie Kieran O'Hara also drops out but 19-year-old Bournemouth netminder Travers has been given a chance to impress.

Injury has ruled out Newcastle United's Ciaran Clark, Preston North End's Callum Robinson, Burnley's Jonathan Walters and Southampton's Michael Obafemi.

The Republic will also face Switzerland and Denmark in Group D of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Mark Travers (Bournemouth).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Harry Arter (Cardiff City*), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City)

Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town)

*indicates the player is on loan

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