In-form Shane Long returns to Republic of Ireland fold

Shane Long is back in contention for the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar after ending the Premier League season with Southampton in fine form.

The 32-year-old striker has been included in Mick McCarthy’s provisional 30-man party for a training camp in Portugal later this month ahead of the games in June, having missed the qualifier victories over Gibraltar and Georgia in March through injury.

Long has scored four of his five league goals for the campaign in the last six games to help ease the Saints to top-flight safety and mark his return to form.

Shane Long has been in prolific form recently

Shane Long has been in prolific form recently (Mark Kerton/PA)

He is joined in the squad by Preston forward Callum Robinson, who also missed the opening games of the campaign through injury, and Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan, who did not make the final cut last time around during his loan spell at Sheffield United.

There are places too for Robinson’s club-mate Alan Browne and Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara, who helped Macclesfield retain their Football League status during his loan spell. Cardiff defender Greg Cunningham is also included.

McCarthy will finalise his squad after the Premier League campaign draws to a close on Sunday and the Football League play-off semi-finals, with Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan, Richard Keogh, Josh Cullen and Ronan Curtis all potentially facing Wembley finals.

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The Republic will train at the Campus sports complex in Quinta Do Lago from May 21 before returning to Dublin to begin their preparations in earnest for the game in Denmark on June 7 and Gibraltar’s visit to the Aviva Stadium three days later.

Provisional squad: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolves), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan (Sheffield United), Richard Keogh (Derby), Shane Duffy (Brighton), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff), Alan Browne (Preston), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Josh Cullen (Charlton), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), James McClean (Stoke), Alan Judge (Ipswich), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), James Collins (Luton), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), Callum Robinson (Preston).

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