First Team

Smith and Hughes in Northern Ireland squad

8th November 2018

Michael Smith and Aaron Hughes have been called up to the Northern Ireland squad by Michael O'Neill to face the Republic of Ireland and Austria.

Both defenders were on the bench during last month's two defeats against Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Northern Irishmen will now face the Republic of Ireland in a friendly in Dublin on November 15th before their final Nations League game against Austria on November 18th in Belfast.

Right-back Smith is looking to add to his two caps having last played against Israel in a friendly in September.

He made his international debut against Slovenia in a friendly when he was at Peterborough United back in March 2016.

The 30-year-old has been involved in Michael O'Neill's last three squads as the Northern Irishmen look to avoid relegation from their Nations League group.

Meanwhile, Aaron Hughes is looking to extend his lead as Britain's most capped defender.

The Cookstown-born centre-back currently sits on 112 caps for his country, overtaking Bobby Moore's 108 England caps to take the record back in November 2017. 

Aaron's international debut came back in 1998, in a 4-1 friendly defeat against Spain. His only goal for his country came in a European Qualifier in 2011 against the Fareo Islands.

The pair could face Jimmy Dunne in Dublin, as the 21-year-old centre-back is in the provisional Irish squad for the first time.