MX23RW : Wednesday, February 20 08:26:51

Gareth McAuley returns to Northern Ireland squad

Gareth McAuley returns to Northern Ireland's 25-man squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, while George Saville and Jordan Jones earn their first call-ups.

West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley has been included in the Northern Ireland squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Norway.

The 37-year-old missed out on inclusion last time out due to a thigh injury, which he picked up in the 1-0 win over Azerbaijan at the end of last season.

McAuley made his first appearance of the campaign in the Baggies' 2-1 EFL Cup defeat to Manchester City last week, however, and he will now form part of Michael O'Neill's 25-man group for the upcoming qualifiers.

Elsewhere, there are first call-ups to the side for Millwall's George Saville and Jordan Jones of Kilmarnock, with the former eligible to represent the Green and White Army through his grandmother.

Craig Cathcart, Paddy McNair and Jamie Ward all miss out through injury, however, and there is still no place for Will Grigg.

Northern Ireland squad in full:

Goalkeepers: McGovern (Norwich City), Mannus (St Johnstone), Carroll (Linfield)

Defenders: Hughes (Hearts), G McAuley (West Brom), Evans (West Brom), Brunt (West Brom), C McLaughlin (Millwall), Hodson (Rangers), A Thompson (Bradford City loan), D Lafferty (Sheffield United), Flanagan (Burton Albion)

Midfielders: Davis (Southampton), McGinn (Gwangju), Norwood (Fulham loan), C Evans (Blackburn), Ferguson (Millwall), Dallas (Leeds), Lund (Burton Albion), Paton (St Johnstone), J Jones (Kilmarnock), G Saville (Millwall)

Strikers: K Lafferty (Hearts), Magennis (Charlton), Washington (QPR), McCartan (Bradford City)


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Chris Brunt of West Bromwich Albion in action during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at the Hawthorns on August 23, 2015
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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