Derrick Williams made his competitive debut for Republic of Ireland on Saturday and has earned the praise of boss Mick McCarthy during his week away with the national side.

Williams was introduced in the closing stages of the 0-0 draw with Georgia in Tbilisi, his second cap, but first competitive outing for his country.

He made his debut in a friendly against France in May 2018 and was called in to the squad at late notice following injuries to Rovers pair Darragh Lenihan and Greg Cunningham.

And McCarthy has been pleased with Williams’ contribution in training, enough to hand him a chance late on against Georgia as he replaced Connor Hourihane.

Praising the 26-year-old on the eve of the game, Ireland boss McCarthy said: “I’ve been impressed with Derrick Williams coming in. He’s trained exceptionally well.”

Williams has played 10 matches for Rovers this season in central defence, but with Sheffield United full back Enda Stevens, he was a contender to start at left back in training.

Wolves’ Matt Doherty was given the nod, with Williams brought on as Ireland chased a late winner.

Posting on social media after his appearance, Williams said: “Delighted to make my first competitive cap. Hopefully more to come.”

Despite the goalless draw, Ireland remain top of Group D ahead of Tuesday’s qualifier with Switzerland.

Asked if it was a point gained or two dropped, McCarthy said: "I see it absolutely as a point won. They are a very good side, but we did hit the post and Duffer (Shane Duffy) could have scored the winner from the corner at the end.

"Aaron Connolly's had a chance running through and Darren hasn't made a save, so for all the possession and moving us around, he's not made one save.

"We could have been better offensively, but defensively we were very good. If you had offered me four points in the games against Georgia at the start of the group, I'd have taken it."

McCarthy sent on Brighton teenager Aaron Connolly in the second half, replacing Luton’s James Collins in attack, with Alan Browne and Williams the other two replacements.

The timing of those decisions were questioned by some, but defending his call, McCarthy said: "I make the substitutions as I see fit, I don't look back with regret and think I should have done them sooner."

Williams will hope to feature again in Switzerland on Tuesday before reporting back to Rovers on Thursday ahead of their return to Championship action against Huddersfield Town on Saturday at Ewood Park.