Ireland news

Dunne to start in WC qualifier

June 4, 2013
By ESPN staff

Richard Dunne is "90 per cent" certain to start in the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands on Friday night.

Richard Dunne
GettyImagesRichard Dunne is finally on the comeback trail

The 33-year-old had not played any football for either club or country this season until he was introduced as a second-half substitute during Sunday night's 4-0 friendly victory over Georgia.

However, having seen him confirm his return to fitness following a 12-month injury lay-off, both in training and during his 25-minute cameo at the Aviva Stadium, Ireland boss Trapattoni is ready to pitch him straight back into competitive action.

When asked whether Dunne would start on Friday in Dublin, 74-year-old Trapattoni told sundayworld.com: "Sure. I said 'probably' yesterday, but after this performance I think against the Faroes, he will be 90 per cent on the pitch. It was important to see him in contact with the opponent."

A start in the World Cup qualifier would complete a remarkable turn-around for Dunne, who has admitted he feared his career could be over as he underwent three bouts of surgery in a bid to solve a persistent groin injury.

Trapattoni had previously been cautious over one of his key performers since welcoming him back into the squad, but it now seems he will have few qualms in naming him in his starting line-up.

Dunne has confirmed he will look to tie up a move in a bid to relaunch his career this summer, after being released by Aston Villa.