Republic of Ireland Head Coach Colin Bell has named a 21-player squad ahead of the crucial FIFA 2019 World Cup qualifiers against Norway.
Wexford Youths’ Rianna Jarrett has been selected for the first-time since March 2016, when she made her senior debut against Italy in the Cyprus Cup. Jarrett suffered her third ACL injury of her career during that match but the striker has now completed her rehabilitation.
Jarrett (23) has made seven appearances and scored nine goals for the Continental Tyres Women’s National League champions this season and replaces Celtic striker Ruesha Littlejohn, who has been out injured since the Netherlands fixture.
Megan Campbell and Stephanie Roche are long-term absentees whilst Roma McLaughlin misses out having only just returned to action with Shelbourne after a leg injury. Heather Payne, Amy Boyle-Carr and Saoirse Noonan also miss out due to receiving their university leaving certificates.
Player of the Year Harriet Scott returns to the squad having recovered from a broken collarbone which kept her out of the Slovakia and the Netherlands fixtures in April, and midfielder Tyler Toland also returns from a hand injury.
Colin Bell told fai.ie: “We’re delighted to see Harriet return to the squad. She picked up another injury during her comeback from the collarbone but we’re monitoring her closely and we hope she’ll be fit for both games.
“We’re also closely monitoring Niamh Fahey who has also picked up an injury whilst with her club Bordeaux.
“I’d like to congratulate Rianna Jarrett who returns to the squad. To comeback from three ACL injuries requires a huge amount of hard work, commitment and desire, and she should be incredibly proud of her efforts so far.
“She’s been in great form this season for Wexford Youths and I really feel that if she can continue to work hard and keep getting fitter and stronger with every game, she could be an important player for us in the future.
“These are two crucial games against Norway, the top seeds in the group, and we’ll have to be at our very best to get the results we need. The players have been excellent so far this campaign but we need two big performances both at Tallaght Stadium and in Norway.”
Ireland face Norway on Friday 8th June with kick-off at 5.30pm at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin before they travel to Stavanger, Norway for the away fixture on Tuesday 12th June, kick-off 5pm (6pm local time).
Tickets for the home fixture at Tallaght Stadium are available from Ticketmaster, with tickets priced at €5 for adults and FREE for U18s, OAP’s and FAI Season Ticket Holders.
Republic of Ireland squad to face Norway
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Manchester City), Amanda Budden (Cork City), Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne).
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire O’Riordan (Wexford Youths), Aislinn Meaney (Galway)
Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (Peamount United), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United).
Attackers: Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Zara Foley (Lakewood), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United).