5 talking points ahead of Republic of Ireland’s friendly against New Zealand
Ireland end the calendar year against the All Whites in Dublin.
The Republic of Ireland’s friendly clash with New Zealand on Tuesday night will signal the end of one international career and perhaps two as a difficult calendar year draws to a close.
James McClean is set to make his 103rd and final appearance for his country in a fixture which could be manager Stephen Kenny’s last in charge, with his current contract due to expire on the final whistle.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding the game at the Aviva Stadium.
Return of the Mac
They think it’s all over
Kenny’s trawl for new talent has seen him repeatedly dip into the nation’s resources at under-21 level, with the likes of goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, defenders Dara O’Shea and Nathan Collins, midfielder Jason Knight and striker Evan Ferguson now established as regulars in his team. He could hand Brighton midfielder Andy Moran, currently on loan at Sky Bet Championship Blackburn, a first senior cap after drafting him in from Jim Crawford’s squad as they prepared for European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Norway and Italy to continue that trend.