Magpies defender to miss friendlies

Newcastle United

Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of their upcoming friendlies.

Clark’s last taste of competitive action came from the bench for the Republic of Ireland when they lost in a friendly to Turkey on March 23.

The 28-year-old hasn’t featured for Newcastle since the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace on February 4 and his season was ended prematurely due to a knee injury.

Martin O’Neill named Clark in his provisional squad for the friendlies with France on March 28 and USA on June 2.

However, the former Aston Villa man has been forced to withdraw after failing to overcome his injury issues in time.

Newcastle said in a statement: ‘He has now been ruled out and will be working to return to full fitness in time for the next campaign.’

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