England U21 call-up for Sunderland duo but no John O'Shea or Aiden McGeady in Ireland squad

Sunderland loanees Jake Clarke-Salter and Ovie Ejaria have been called up for England Under-21s March internationals.

Thursday, 15th March 2018, 12:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th March 2018, 12:40 pm
Ovie Ejaria in action against QPR last weekend.

Head coach Aidy Boothroyd has named the duo in his 26-man squad for the Cyrille Regis International with Romania and a Euro qualifier against Ukraine.

Centre-back Clarke-Salter, who has recently served a three-match ban and is in contention to face Preston North End on Saturday, joined Sunderland on loan from Chelsea in January, with midfielder Ejaria joining later that month from Liverpool.

Both have been regulars under Chris Coleman, with Ejaria, in particular, impressing in a struggling Sunderland side that props up the Championship table.

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The Under-21s will face Romania at Wolves’ Molineux on Saturday, March 24, in the Cyrille Regis International.

As a tribute to the former England, West Bromwich Albion and Wolves striker who passed away earlier this year, wreaths from all four of his clubs and the FA will be placed on the pitch along with a minute’s applause to celebrate his contribution to football in England and the Midlands.

That match will lead into the Euro qualifier with Ukraine at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane on Tuesday, March 27.

The Young Lions currently sit on top of their group on the approach to the half-way point of the campaign.

"It’s been a good start to our new Euro campaign," said Boothroyd, ahead of his squad’s meet-up at St. George’s Park next week.

"We’ve got 13 points from the five games, a five-point lead at the top of our group and after analysing all of those games from different areas, we still think we could be better, so that’s a real positive.

"We’ll now be working hard to make sure we keep improving on our games so far and we’ve got two matches this month against Romania and Ukraine to try and do that."

Meanwhile, there is no place for either John O'Shea or Aiden McGeady in Martin O'Neill's 30-man provisional squad for the friendly between Republic of Ireland and Turkey on Friday, March 23 in Antalya.

O'Shea has been struggling with a thigh problem of late, playing through the pain barrier for Sunderland, and Coleman will welcome the chance for his skipper to rest.

McGeady's form has been inconsistent since joining Sunderland last summer from Preston North End.

Exciting teenage prospect Joel Asoro has been included in the Sweden Under-21 squad, who travel to Turkey and Cyprus in the upcoming international break.

They play Turkey on March 23 and then Cyprus the following Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Paddy McNair hasn't played for Sunderland in recent weeks as a result of a groin problem but he is in the Northern Ireland squad to face Korea Republic during the international break.