Republic of Ireland keen on England showdown

Keith Andrews and Stephen Hunt want to face England at Euro 2012 instead of a proposed friendly in Dublin

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
The Republic of Ireland have not faced England since 1995 Photo: Clare Courier


Republic of Ireland duo Keith Andrews and Stephen Hunt have admitted they would relish a clash against England at Euro 2012.

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney has recently revealed an interest in staging a friendly between the two nations for the first time since 1995.

And Andrews greeted the proposal with enthusiasm – but he admitted he would prefer to face England at next summer’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

“It would be fantastic,” said Andrews. “We haven’t played England in such a long time. “They have well and truly qualified for the Euros and it would be nice to pit ourselves against them.

“They had a fantastic result [against Spain] yesterday. We play against them week in, week out in the Premier League, and to play against them would be something I am sure both sets of fans would love.

“We would settle for a 1-0 win maybe in the group stages if we got them. But I am sure [a friendly] would be a fantastic game if that could be sorted.”

And Hunt agreed that he would much prefer to face Fabio Capello’s side in a competitive fixture, with Ireland on the verge of clinching a spot at Euro 2012 following their 4-0 first leg play-off win in Estonia.

“If we play against England, I would rather play against them in the tournament than a friendly because let’s be honest about it, friendlies are irrelevant,” said the Wolverhampton Wanderers winger.

“It would be nice to beat them, of course. They are our main rivals and they play against Wales and Scotland all the time.

“It would be nice to play against them of course, but I would prefer it at the tournament.”

Delaney had earlier revealed the FAI’s interest in staging a friendly with England after the last game between the pair was abandoned after 27 minutes at Lansdowne Road over 16 years ago.

“I think there is a real enthusiasm, particularly from the English FA, to have England in Dublin sooner rather than later,” he said.


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
ATP World Tour Awards: Federer and Nadal continue 2017 rivalry into end-of-year player awards
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Gary Neville sends blunt message to Jurgen Klopp about Liverpool FC defence
The Sport Review
Arsene Wenger hails ‘exceptional’ Arsenal star: He’s agile, quick and intelligent
The Sport Review
Owen Hargreaves sends warning to Man United about Victor Lindelof