Former Liverpool man Didi Hamann has hit out at Stephen Kenny’s decision to call up Andrew Moran to the Republic of Ireland senior squad when he could have played in an “important” Under-21 qualifier.

Moran was a late addition to the squad following injuries to the likes of Will Smallbone and Chiedozie Ogbene.

The 20-year-old has made a positive impression in the Championship since joining Rovers on loan from Brighton.

He was an unused substitute as Ireland were beaten 1-0 by the Netherlands in Amsterdam last night. Kenny’s side had already missed out on qualification regardless of the result.

Meanwhile, Jim Crawford’s Under-21 side were beaten 3-2 by Norway on Friday night despite goals from Aidomo Emakhu and Sinclair Armstrong.

Moran has been an important member of Crawford’s squad and wore the captain’s armband earlier this season while Wolves midfielder Joe Hodge was out injured.

Hamann told RTE: "The U21s had a very important game against Norway. They beat Turkey last month and Moran was outstanding in that game.

“If you win that, you win four out of four, and you're in a very strong position and talking about winning the group.

"Now, you lose to Norway. Italy on the way, you also have to go to Turkey. I feel that Stephen Kenny with his addition of Andrew Moran took away the chance for Jim Crawford and his squad and the coaching staff - he took away the chance to play in the Euros.

"Stephen Kenny is employed by the FAI, he has to do what's best for the FAI. Every decision he's got to make in the best interests of the FAI and for Irish football - not for his personal interests.

"This is why it's inexcusable to call up the vice-captain of the team - who's a main player, the heart of the team - to call him up for a dead rubber against Holland, where he's on the bench.”

Ex-Rovers goalkeeper Shay Given agreed that Moran should have been playing for Crawford’s Under-21 side.

"I think Norway was more important, it’s a dead rubber tonight. Yes, he might play five or 10 minutes as a substitute and then after the game Stephen Kenny will say it’s another played (capped),” he added.

"It's just a strange decision because he is the star player in the 21s team and he took that away."

Moran could win his first senior cap on Tuesday night when Kenny's side host New Zealand in a friendly.

He is then due to link up with the Rovers squad as Jon Dahl Tomasson's men prepare for their trip to Stoke City.