Rovers’ Irish defensive trio were watched by Republic of Ireland assistant manager Terry Connor during Saturday’s win over Reading ahead of a possible international call-up.

Greg Cunningham, Derrick Williams and Darragh Lenihan were all named in the 40-man provisional squad for the September fixtures but were cut from the list when it was trimmed to 25 for matches against Switzerland and Bulgaria.

Mick McCarthy’s side face two crucial Euro 2020 qualifying matches next month as they look to take a hold of Group D.

They are currently top of the table, with three wins and two draws from their five matches, and travel to Georgia on October 15 and Switzerland, who are three points behind Ireland with a game in hand, on October 15.

Cunningham joined Rovers on a season-long loan deal from Cardiff on deadline and has four caps for his country. But just one of those has come since 2010, the last in 2013, despite the 28-year-old having had regular Championship football.

However, Sheffield United left back Enda Stevens is suspended for the Georgia fixture, offering opportunities for the likes of Cunningham to break in to the side.

Stoke’s James McLean, Ryan Manning of QPR, are two other alternatives watched in recent weeks, while Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane played in the friendly against Bulgaria earlier this month, though none of the three are naturals in that position.

Lenihan has two caps, and Williams one, but both have been in excellent form at the start of the season.

Boss McCarthy will name his squad for the October matches next Tuesday.

“With Enda Stevens suspended for the Georgia game, we are looking at left-back options,” he told

“Terry saw Greg play there for Blackburn, we had James watched for Stoke and I saw Ryan Manning play for QPR against Luton last week.”

Cunningham has started six matches since signing for Rovers and hopes his form for the club can earn him an international recall.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph during the September international break, he said:  “It was just one of those things.

“Over the international break it’s where you want to be, but as I wasn’t picked, I was in fan mode watching with the family.

“I want to play for my country and want to do everything to get out on the pitch. But it’s just one of things. I just have to keep my head down, not think about it too much.

“I have to make sure I’m keeping my performances as consistent and as high as possible at club level.

“If the opportunity comes then brilliant, if not then I’ll keep working hard.”