Keane to be named for friendly

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The Independent Online

Roy Keane will be named in the Republic of Ireland's squad for the friendly match against Poland on 28 April.

Roy Keane will be named in the Republic of Ireland's squad for the friendly match against Poland on 28 April.

Manager Brian Kerr intends to include the former captain after he ended his 23-month self-imposed exile from international football. The choice will quash speculation that Keane has an agreement by which he will only play in competitive matches.

The fixture, in the small industrial city of Bydgoszcz, is exactly the kind of match which will infuriate the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson who has opposed Keane's return for his country. It comes at a sensitive time in the season, sandwiched between matches against Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers, with Ferguson intent on securing second spot in the Premiership and automatic qualification for the Champions' League.

Keane has not played for United since 3 April but is expected to return for Saturday's match against Portsmouth and then will be named in Kerr's squad next week.

Kerr's assistant, Chris Hughton, said yesterday that he was delighted with Keane's decision. "If you were starting from scratch would you want a player of Roy Keane's quality, given what he has achieved, in your set-up?" he asked. "The answer is an emphatic 'Yes'."

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