Gareth McAuley included with two uncapped players in Northern Ireland squad for World Cup qualifiers
West Brom defender Gareth McAuley has been included in Michael O'Neill's squad for next month's World Cup qualifying double-header.
NI host Germany on Thursday October 5 and then travel to face Norway on Sunday October 8 and O'Neill has named a 27 man panel.
McAuley missed the victories over San Marino and Czech Republic earlier this month due to a thigh injury he sustained back in June on international duty.
But the 37 year-old returned for his club in their Carabao Cup loss to Manchester City last week, which has given O'Neill all the evidence he needs that one of his key senior figures is ready to be named in the panel.
Uncapped duo Jordan Jones and George Saville have both been included in the squad. Jones, who plays for Kilmarnock, was included in the NI training panel ahead of the summer friendly with New Zealand. Saville, meanwhile, is a 24 year-old midfielder who joined Millwall from Wolves in the summer. He has started nine Championship matches this season, scoring twice. English-born, he qualifies to represent Northern Ireland through his grandmother.
Ryan McLaughlin drops out, as does the injured Craig Cathcart.
Northern Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll, Alan Mannus, Michael McGovern
Defenders: Daniel Lafferty, Aaron Hughes, Gareth McAuley, Tom Flanagan, Lee Hodson, Adam Thompson, Chris Brunt, Jonny Evans, Conor McLaughlin
Midfielders: Paul Paton, Niall McGinn, Matthew Lund, Corry Evans, George Saville, Steven Davis, Shane Ferguson, Oliver Norwood, Stuart Dallas, Jordan Jones
Fowards: Shay McCartan, Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Conor Washington
Belfast Telegraph Digital