England v Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane hopeful of healthy rivalry

The sides meet for the first time since 1995

Robbie Keane is hoping the Republic of Ireland and England can enjoy a healthy rivalry for years to come as they prepare to resume hostilities.

The two sides will go head-to-head for the first time since 1995 at Wembley tonight in a fixture which will rekindle memories of tight encounters in the past.

Unfortunately, the most recent are of the game 18 years ago which was abandoned with just 27 minutes played after England fans rioted at Lansdowne Road.

Keane was in the stands as a 14-year-old that night, and he is desperate for the two nations to compete on a regular basis once again.

He said: "Believe it or not, the countries certainly do get on well. Whatever happened years and years ago, that's hopefully in past.

"Me personally, I think it should have happened a good few years ago, but listen, it hasn't so there's no point talking about it.

"But hopefully after this now, it can be good and we can certainly have a rivalry for a good few years to come, play against each other many times, and hopefully it's all done in a good way.

"Hopefully this will be the start of an even bigger rivalry where we can play on a regular basis if everything goes as well as everyone wants it to go. Hopefully it will be a good, friendly rivalry."

Skipper Keane, who will win his 124th cap tonight, only arrived in London yesterday morning after playing in LA Galaxy's 4-0 victory over Seattle Sounders on Sunday night, but he did so having confirmed his return from an ankle injury in style with his first MLS hat-trick.

He said: "As a striker, you are judged on scoring goals, but for me, it was just nice to be back playing, to be honest with you.

"It has been a frustrating four weeks for me with being on and off, so just to be back in these last few weeks - I have played three games in two weeks, so I feel fairly sharp.

"It's always nice to be scoring goals. If you are going into games without scoring, it's in the back of your mind a little bit, so coming off a hat-trick is obviously good for my confidence."

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni will hope that rich vein of form extends into next Friday's World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands, by far the most important of the four games Ireland will play in the next fortnight despite their eagerness to face England once again.

Keane said: "It's a big game for us because of the rivalry and the bragging rights between a lot of players. A lot of players are friendly with each other.

"But we have got a bigger game against the Faroes on June 7, so we have to be certainly in the back of our minds looking towards that."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam