Shay Given back in Republic squad for Oman & Georgia games

Shay Given retired from Republic duty after the Euro 2012 finals
Shay Given played in Aston Villa's defeat by Leyton Orient in midweek

Shay Given is in line to add to his 125 Republic of Ireland caps after being called up by manager Martin O'Neill for the friendly against Oman and opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia.

Aston Villa keeper Given, 38, retired from Irish duty after Euro 2012 but has now been coaxed back.

Everton's Darron Gibson is also included after being out since October because of a serious knee injury.

Captain Robbie Keane is a doubt because of an unspecified injury.

Republic assistant manager Roy Keane is now also assistant boss at Aston Villa and he is understood to have urged Donegal man Given to consider a return to international duty.

Andy Reid, Stephen Kelly and Jeff Hendrick have been ruled out of both games by injury.

O'Neill named a 27-man squad on Saturday evening and Darren Randolph, Ciaran Clark, Paul McShane, Shane Duffy, Damien Delaney, Simon Cox and Conor Sammon have all been put on stand-by in case other injuries arise.

A Football Association of Ireland statement said that LA Galaxy striker Keane "is carrying a slight injury".

"A decision will be made later this evening as to when he will travel but it is hoped he will be fit in time for the Georgia match," added the FAI.

The Republic's all-time leading goal-scorer Keane is also the country's most capped player having made 133 international appearances.

The Irish will take on Oman in the friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday with the opening qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi on Sunday 7 September.

Given lost his first-team place at Aston Villa in the early part of last season but went on to impress during a loan spell at Middlesbrough.

The Lifford native is now back at Villa Park and made an eye-catching save in his club's Capital One Cup defeat by Leyton Orient in midweek.

However, Brad Guzan is set to replace Given in Sunday's Premier League game against Hull City.

Speaking on Twitter on Saturday night, Given said that he was "delighted to be back" in the Republic squad.


Goalkeepers: David Forde (Millwall), Kieran Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Rob Elliott (Newcastle United)

Defenders: Richard Keogh (Derby), Marc Wilson (Stoke), Seamus Coleman (Everton), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Joey O'Brien (West Ham), Stephen Ward (Brighton)

Midfielders: James McCarthy (Everton), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Darron Gibson (Everton), Aiden McGeady (Everton), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), James McClean (Wigan), Robbie Brady (Hull City), Stephen Quinn (Hull), David Meyler (Hull), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich)

Strikers: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Jon Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (QPR), Anthony Stokes (Celtic)