Luton striker Collins named in Ireland squad
Luton striker James Collins has been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland.
The 28-year-old, who scored his maiden goal for his country during the 3-1 friendly win over Bulgaria next month, is one of five forwards picked by manager Mick McCarthy, alongside Sean Maguire (Preston), Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town) and Scott Hogan (Stoke City).
Collins was watched by Ireland assistant Terry Connor score his 50th goal for the Hatters in their 2-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, as McCarthy said: "We have forwards scoring goals at the minute and any manager will tell you that is a habit you want your front men to have.
"James Collins did really well on his international debut against Bulgaria and has brought that form back to Luton."
With David McGoldrick injured, there is a chance Collins could make his competitive debut, but McCarthy added: "I won’t even start thinking about the team for that game until the players turn up at the Hotel on Sunday and I see who we have available.
"We have injuries and suspensions and I know that better than anyone. But there’s nothing I can do about them. It happens in football.
"That’s why we changed almost the entire team for the Bulgaria game last month.
"They put their hands up for selection and gave me something to think about.
"Now it’s time to think about them for Georgia and I look forward to getting back on the training ground on Monday and starting the countdown to these two massive games in earnest.”
Ireland head to Georgia on Saturday, October 12 and then fly to Switzerland on Tuesday, October 15.
Full squad, Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion, on loan from Manchester United).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Blackburn Rovers), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United).
Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic, on loan from West Ham United), Glenn Whelan (Heart of Midlothian), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers).
Forwards: James Collins (Luton Town), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Scott Hogan (Stoke City, on loan from Aston Villa).