Euro 2020 qualifiers: Jack Byrne drafted into Republic squad

Jack Byrne
Jack Byrne caught the eye of Republic manager Mick McCarthy on Friday night

Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne has replaced the injured Callum O'Dowda in the Republic of Ireland squad for their opening Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The uncapped 22-year-old has been called up after Bristol City's O'Dowda sustained a knee injury.

Republic boss Mick McCarthy was at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night to watch Byrne score a superb goal in an impressive display.

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

Byrne is the fourth uncapped player to be included by McCarthy alongside Josh Cullen, James Collins and Mark Travers.

Charlton's Cullen and Burnley defender Kevin Long came into the panel on Friday after Alan Browne and Ronan Curtis were ruled out by injury.

"He was the best player by a distance in a good team performance by Rovers and his goal was the icing on the cake," McCarthy told the FAI website after watching Byrne in action.

"I was impressed with his vision, his range of passing and his passion.

"Robbie has trained with Jack with the senior team before and speaks highly of him so I wasn't surprised by his contribution."

Injury has also 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), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), 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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