Luton striker Collins called up by Ireland for Euro 2020 qualifiers

Luton striker James Collins
Luton striker James Collins

Luton Town striker James Collins has won his first international call-up to the Ireland senior squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia later this month.

The 28-year-old, who has played for the U19s and U21s earlier in his career, was named by Mick McCarthy in his squad for the matches that take place on March 23 in Gibraltar and then March 26, at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Collins earned his call after scoring 20 league goals for the Hatters this season, reaching the milestone during Saturday's 2-0 win over Rochdale in front of a watching McCarthy.

There are also first senior call-ups for Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers and Newport County striker Padraig Amond, with the squad to be finalised ahead of the '3' FAI International Awards on Sunday, March 17 with the players undergoing their first session at the FAI National Training Centre on Monday, March 18.

Collins will Luton's League One home match against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, March 23, and he if plays, will be first Hatter since Luke Gambin in March last year to represent their country, when the winger played for Malta.

Meanwhile, the striker would also Town's 50th player to make an international appearance while at Kenilworth Road, and the first to play for Ireland since Ashley Grimes some 31 years ago.

Republic of Ireland Provisional Squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Kieran O'Hara (Macclesfield Town*), Mark Travers (Bournemouth).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Kevin Long (Burnley), Jimmy Dunne (Sunderland), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Stephen Ward (Burnley).

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sunderland), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Harry Arter (Cardiff City), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), David Meyler (Coventry City*), Shaun Williams (Millwall), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Hibernian).

Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Scott Hogan (Sheffield United), Aiden O'Brien (Millwall), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town), Padraig Amond (Newport County).