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Rovers quartet face play-off wait

Further fixture postponements for Rovers stars Lenihan, Williams, Mulgrew and Evans

3 April 2020

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Rovers’ home nation internationals face a further wait in their quest to qualify for next summer’s European Championships.

Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams, Corry Evans and Charlie Mulgrew will all be hoping their respective countries can book their place at the Euro 2021 finals via the play-offs.

Play-off matches were due to take place between March 26th and March 31st, before being pushed back until the next scheduled international break due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, UEFA have now taken the decision to postpone the play-off rounds, along with all other international matches scheduled for June, indefinitely following a meeting with its member associations.

Rovers’ defensive duo Lenihan and Williams were both included in the Republic of Ireland’s provisional squad for their crunch play-off clash away to Slovakia. The winners of that tie will face a play-off final against either Northern Ireland or Bosnia & Herzegovina for the chance to join Spain, Sweden and Poland in Group E.

Midfielder Evans, who is still recovering from a fractured skull sustained in the Ewood encounter against Preston in January, will hope to be back fit when Northern Ireland are given the go-ahead for their game away to Bosnia, with Slovakia or the Republic of Ireland awaiting the winner.

Charlie Mulgrew, who returned to Rovers from a loan spell at Wigan Athletic in January, will also hope to earn a recall to the Scotland squad for their semi-final at home to Israel. The winners will face Norway or Serbia, with a place alongside England, Croatia and Czech Republic in Group D up for grabs.

Elsewhere, Ryan Nyambe (Namibia), Jayson Leutwiler (Canada), Jack Vale (Wales Under-21s), Lewis Thompson (Northern Ireland Under-21s) and Isaac Whitehall (Republic of Ireland Under-18s) must all now wait for their next chance to impress on the international stage, with football competitions around the world suspended indefinitely until it is safe to resume.

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