Ireland’s Niamh Fahey ruled out of France and England games

The 36-year-old Liverpool captain will return to her club having been assessed by the Irish medical team

Niamh Fahey has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2025 qualifying games against France on Friday and England next Tuesday with a calf strain, the 36-year-old Liverpool captain returning to her club having been assessed by the Irish medical team in Dublin.

While the loss of the experienced defender, who has 112 caps, is a blow to manager Eileen Gleeson, the news won’t have been unexpected after her club manager Matt Beard said last Thursday that she was likely to be out “for a few weeks” after picking up the injury.

With plenty of central defensive options still available to her, Gleeson has opted not to call up a replacement for Fahey.

Those options were strengthened on Monday when Aston Villa’s Anna Patten received international clearance from Fifa to switch allegiance from England, making her available for the France and England games.

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With Louise Quinn and Caitlin Hayes likely to start both fixtures, Gleeson now has Patten, Jessie Stapleton, Diane Caldwell and Aoife Mannion to choose from should she opt to play with three centre backs. Megan Campbell, capable of playing on the left of a back three, is another option.

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