Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has left James McCarthy, Marc Wilson and Jon Walters out of his squad for next month's crucial Euro 2012 qualifiers against Slovakia and Russia.
The Italian was unhappy that the Wigan midfielder and the Stoke pair did not report for Nations Cup duty in May, and he saw them withdraw from the squad once again for the friendly with Croatia earlier this month. In whittling his initial squad down to 25 yesterday, he made his feelings abundantly clear, although McCarthy has been made available for selection for the Under-21s and could yet return to contention should he be required.
Trapattoni said: "Picking the final 25 players for the squad has not been an easy task and, unfortunately, some players have been left out. We will continue to monitor their progress with their clubs and call them up if necessary."
Wigan were adamant McCarthy was struggling with an ankle injury when he initially failed to meet up with the Ireland squad. However, former Italy manager Trapattoni believes all players should report even if they are injured so they can be assessed by medical staff.
The defenders Paul McShane and Seamus Coleman are also missing, but they have been left out because of injury. The Sunderland defender John O'Shea is included, even though he is yet to play a competitive game for his new club because of a hamstring problem picked up during pre-season.
There are places too for the Republic's most-capped international, Shay Given, and fellow centurions Kevin Kilbane, now at Derby, and Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane.
Ireland face Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium on 2 September and Russia in Moscow four days later. The three sides are locked together at the top of qualifying Group B on 13 points.