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Derrick's a happy man

The defender is aiming for a start against Denmark following a goalscoring display in Dublin

15 November 2019

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Rovers defender Derrick Williams was thrilled to mark his first start for the Republic of Ireland with a first goal for his country.

The centre back, who bagged a header in Rovers' last outing at Leeds United, was among the goals again in the international friendly against New Zealand in Dublin on Thursday night.

Williams powered home another header to level the scores at the Aviva Stadium on the stroke of half time after the Kiwis went ahead through Callum McCowatt.

Second half strikes from Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson made it a comfortable night for Mick McCarthy's side, and Williams was thrilled to continue his scoring streak.

"It was my first time playing here and to top it off with a goal is brilliant. It means the world," Williams told RTÉ Sport.

"I actually said to Robbie [Brady] before the game 'what area do you hit?' and he said 'just outside the six' so I made sure I got in there.

"I have quite a good spring so I just wanted to time it right and lucky enough it went in.

"I felt as the game went on we were the better side and we deserved the win."

The 26-year-old is hoping he's done enough to start for a second time in a matter of days when the Republic take on Denmark on Tuesday night.

"I'm a bit disappointed I had to come off. Hopefully my injury is okay and I've put a few thoughts in the gaffer's head," he added.

"I was happy enough. I felt I was getting forward well and linking well. A bit disappointed about their goal, I gave the ball away, but other than that, I was pretty pleased."

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