Staunton's first Ireland gathering auditions six new faces

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The Independent Football

Steve Staunton yesterday announced his first squad since taking over as the manager of the Republic of Ireland and included six uncapped players while hinting that Stephen Carr is likely to be persuaded to come out of international retirement. "It's very positive," he said of the prospect that the Newcastle full-back will eventually return.

Into the 23-man squad for the 1 March friendly against Sweden, are the uncapped Stephen Ireland, who had previously refused to play for Kerr, Joey O'Brien, Stephen Kelly, Wayne Henderson, Kevin Doyle and Sunderland's Liam Lawrence, who qualifies through the "granny rule".

Staunton also confirmed that he had considered calling up Swansea City's Lee Trundle, who also qualifies through the parentage rule that Kerr refused to use, but implied that the striker needed to play at a higher level than League One. One issue on which Staunton was less forthcoming was the captaincy following Kenny Cunningham's retirement. It is widely expected that Shay Given will lead Ireland, but the manager refused to confirm that.

Republic of Ireland squad (friendly v Sweden, Lansdowne Road, 1 March): Given (Newcastle United), Kenny (Sheffield United), Henderson (Brighton), Breen (Sunderland), Harte (Levante), Finnan (Liverpool), A O'Brien (Portsmouth), Dunn (Manchester City), J O'Brien (Bolton Wanderers), Kelly (Tottenham Hotspur), O'Shea (Manchester United), Ireland (Manchester City), Miller, Douglas (both Leeds United), Kilbane (Everton), Reid (Blackburn Rovers), Kavanagh (Wigan Athletic), Duff (Chelsea), Keane (Tottenham Hotspur), Morrison (Crystal Palace), Doyle (Reading), Elliott, Lawrence (both Sunderland).

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