Derrick Williams will win his third cap for the Republic of Ireland against New Zealand tomorrow night - but matters at Rovers aren’t far from his mind during the international break.

Williams joined up with his international team-mates for the third time, two days after scoring in Rovers’ defeat at Leeds United on Saturday.

He impressed national boss Mick McCarthy in last month's training sessions, despite not being named in the original squad, enough to feature off the bench for his competitive debut in the qualifier in Georgia.

His first cap came back in May 2018 in a friendly with France, and he will add to that tomorrow night in Dublin, with McCarthy having named his side 24 hours in advance of the game with New Zealand, with one eye on Monday’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifier with Denmark.

“It’s massive for me and I’m delighted to be involved again,” Williams said.

“The aim is to get in the manager’s thoughts really and stake a claim.

“I wanted to train well, work hard and get in the team.”



Williams wasn’t initially named in the October squad, but was drafted in following injuries to club team-mates Darragh Lenihan and Greg Cunningham in the defeat at QPR.

The 26-year-old, who has started each of Rovers’ last 15 matches, has played the last two at left back having previously operated in central defence.

And it appears that Williams will line up at left back for his country in a back four that includes debutant Lee O'Connor as well as Kevin Long and Ciaran Clark.

Williams will hope to push his claims for a starting spot for Monday's qualifier with Denmark, with Ireland knowing a win would secure a place at next summer's tournament.

He is expected to return to Brockhall and re-join his Rovers team-mates on Thursday when preparations will step-up for the visit of Barnsley on Saturday week.

And the importance of that isn’t lost on Williams, with Rovers’ run of just one win in eight matches seeing them slip to 18th in the table.

They host a Barnsley side currently bottom of the table, on their return to Championship action on November 23 and in need of finding more consistency.

But Williams isn’t getting overly concerned by the recent run, believing there is still time to arrest that and start climbing the table.

He added: “We have Barnsley after the international break. They’re below us in the table and we have to beat teams like that if we want to push on.

“We’ll train over the next couple of weeks and be ready for that game.

“The Championship is a crazy league. Aston Villa were close to the bottom this time last season and ended up getting promoted.

“If you’re ever going to have a bad spell then it’s not as bad to have it now rather than towards the end of the campaign.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Nyambe played the full 90 minutes for Namibia in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Chad. It was Nyambe's first cap since the summer tournament in Egypt, and four cap in all since pledging his allegiance to the Brave Warriors.