Alan Browne: Republic of Ireland midfielder tests positive for Covid-19 after facing England

Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Browne has tested positive for coronavirus after playing against England at Wembley.

The Preston midfielder, who played the full match in the 3-0 defeat to England on Thursday evening, has been isolated from the rest of the group ahead of Sunday’s Nations League fixture against Wales in Cardiff.

Browne is the second Ireland player to give a positive result this week, with West Brom striker Callum Robinson having missed the England game for the same reason.

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Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah had to sit out last month’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final in Slovakia as close contacts of a member of staff who later tested positive on the flight to Bratislava, while four more players were withdrawn on the squad’s return to Dublin.

A Football Association of Ireland statement said: “The Football Association of Ireland can confirm Ireland midfielder Alan Browne has tested positive for COVID-19.

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“The player has been isolated from the group as per COVID-19 protocols, and the HSE and UEFA have been informed of this development.

“There are no close contacts of the player and the rest of the staff & squad tested negative ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League fixture against Wales in Cardiff.”

England’s preparations for their Nations League fixtures against Belgium and Iceland will not be affected as the Return to Play protocol is designed to legislate for such occurrences.

England and Wolves defender Conor Coady was forced to withdraw and isolate after being identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus via track and trace.

Although the 27-year-old has tested negative twice with the contact coming prior to meeting up with the England squad, he still has to isolate in line with Government guidelines.

England ease to friendly win over Rep of Ireland

England geared up for their UEFA Nations League double-header in style with a convincing 3-0 friendly win over Republic of Ireland at Wembley.

The build-up to Thursday’s encounter – like many of England’s fixtures this calendar year – was overshadowed by events off the field following the resignation of Greg Clarke from his roles as FA chairman and FIFA vice-president, but the result was a formality from the moment Harry Maguire headed the hosts in front (18).

Jadon Sancho doubled England’s lead with a precise finish (31) before Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s penalty following a foul by Cyrus Christie on Bukayo Saka (56) completed a routine win for Gareth Southgate’s men.

England took their foot off the gas in the final 30 minutes and declared on three to claim a first win over Republic of Ireland since 1985 ahead of a crucial UEFA Nations League conclusion, with the trip to face Belgium on Saturday before facing Iceland back at Wembley next week.

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