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Tuesday 14 Nov 2023
First senior call-up for McCausland

Rangers winger Ross McCausland has been called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad for the first time.

The 20-year-old, who made his first start for Rangers in their Scottish Premiership game away to Livingston on Sunday, has previously played for his country at U16, U17, U19 and U21 level.

The winger took part in a training camp with the senior squad back in the summer but this represents his first involvement in a senior panel chosen to represent Northern Ireland in competitive matches. Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill described him as “an exciting young player”.

News of his first call-up came as O’Neill provided an update on the squad ahead of this Friday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Finland in Helsinki and next Monday’s qualifier against Denmark at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

Queens Park Rangers winger/wing back Paul Smyth has had to withdraw from the panel due to a hamstring injury. He has returned to his club for treatment, however the Northern Ireland manager is hopeful he may be fit in time for the game against the Danes.

It was further revealed Aarhus goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Portsmouth midfielder Paddy Lane are both carrying knocks and are receiving treatment. Peacock-Farrell has a problem with his knee, while Lane has a calf injury.

O’Neill also confirmed Northern Ireland captain and defender Jonny Evans is out of both games with a thigh injury picked up while playing for Manchester United in a Champions League tie with FC Copenhagen last week.

There was some positive news, however. Derby County striker Conor Washington was a doubt, but he had a scan at this club yesterday and has been given the all clear to join up with the squad later today.

In addition West Ham United defender Michael Forbes and Portsmouth midfielder Terry Devlin have been called up from the U21s to train with the senior squad this week.

The Group H qualifier against Finland is being staged at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki on Friday (17 November; 17.00 UK time), while the match against Denmark is set to be played at the National Football Stadium next Monday (20 November; 19.45).