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Gibson back in Republic of Ireland squad after injury, drink-driving conviction

Darron Gibson has been named in the Republic of Ireland’s provisional squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Germany and Poland.

Everton midfielder Gibson features in the 40-man group having returned to fitness after fracturing a metatarsal in April.

The ex-Manchester United player is recalled despite pleading guilty to drink-driving in relation to an incident in August, when he is said to have collided with a cyclist and failed to stop, before pulling into a nearby petrol station and crashing into a fuel pump.

Gibson was banned from driving for 20 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, with an unpaid work requirement of 200 hours community service.

Uncapped trio Alan Judge, Eunan O’Kane and Adam Rooney are also included for the Group D qualifiers against the reigning world champions at the Aviva Stadium on October 8, before a trip to take on Poland in Warsaw three days later.

Manager Martin O’Neill will name a final, reduced squad before assembling the players on October 4.

The Republic claimed back-to-back qualifying wins over Gibraltar and Georgia last month and occupy the third-place play-off spot in their group – four and two points behind Germany and Poland respectively.

“After collecting six points from our last two qualifying games, we want to keep the momentum going and continue to push towards sealing qualification from what has proved to be a very difficult group,” O’Neill said in a statement on the Football Association of Ireland’s website.

“We will welcome Germany to the Aviva Stadium for our next game before travelling to Warsaw to meet Poland, but our focus is very much on Germany. We know that the supporters will be right behind us and the players want to produce another big performance.”

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Stoke City), Darren Randolph (West Ham), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)

Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Derby County), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Paul McShane (Reading), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Marc Wilson (Stoke City)

Midfielders: Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Robbie Brady (Norwich City), Darron Gibson (Everton), Paul Green (Rotherham United), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Alan Judge (Brentford), Eunan O’Kane (Bournemouth), James McCarthy (Everton), James McClean (West Brom), Aiden McGeady (Everton), David Meyler (Hull City), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City)

Forwards: Simon Cox (Reading), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), David McGoldrick (both Ipswich Town), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)

Thu 17 Sep, 2015
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