Luton striker set for Ireland debut after injury strikes

Town striker James Collins
Town striker James Collins

Town forward James Collins should make his international debut for the Republic of Ireland against Bulgaria on Tuesday night after fellow strikers David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson were ruled out with injury.

McGoldrick has returned to England for further treatment on a shoulder injury picked up ahead of Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland, where he scored the late equaliser.

Robinson will also head back after picking up a hamstring strain which forced him off in Tuesday’s qualifier.

The injuries mean that Collins and Aston Villa's Scott Hogan are the only two recognised strikers in Mick McCarthy's squad for the clash at the Aviva Stadium, with the manager confirming he won't be calling up any additional players.

He told fai.ie: “Both David and Callum won’t be coming back in when the squad report back to the Castleknock Hotel on Sunday.

“David came into camp with a shoulder injury but was determined to play against Switzerland and what a game he had.

"He was brilliant from start to finish and capped off a great performance with a first Ireland goal that was no more than he deserved.

“Callum felt his hamstring in the second half of the game so it is best now that he also goes back to Sheffield United for treatment.

"There are a few other bumps and bruises about the place but we will see how everyone feels after their short break over the weekend and take it from there on Sunday.”