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Rowly can be a Republic hero

PUBLISHED: 14:39 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 24 August 2010

LONDON - MAY 29:  Martin Rowlands of Ireland tussles with Garba Lawal of Nigeria during the Nigeria v Republic of Ireland Unity Cup match at The Valley Stadium on May 29 2004 in London. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

LONDON - MAY 29: Martin Rowlands of Ireland tussles with Garba Lawal of Nigeria during the Nigeria v Republic of Ireland Unity Cup match at The Valley Stadium on May 29 2004 in London. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

2004 Getty Images

By Ben Kosky QPR skipper Martin Rowlands can become a star at international level, according to his midfield colleague Gavin Mahon. Rowlands was recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad by new coach Giovanni Trapattoni to top off an excellent season that

By Ben Kosky

QPR skipper Martin Rowlands can become a star at international level, according to his midfield colleague Gavin Mahon.

Rowlands was recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad by new coach Giovanni Trapattoni to top off an excellent season that saw him crowned Rangers' Player of the Year.

And Mahon, who played alongside Rowlands at Brentford before the pair were reunited at Loftus Road this season, revealed: "I call him the Rat because he runs around so much and the opposition hate players like him.

"He does so much work for the team, the closing down, pressurising, and he scores goals as well - without question he's going to be one of our key players next season.

"No disrespect to some of the other midfield players in the Ireland side, but Rowly's better and more consistent than some of them.

"He leads by example and really deserves his call-up. I've played in the Premier League and I'd also say he's better than some of the midfielders there."

The 29-year-old Rangers captain has been out of the international frame since 2004, when he won two full Ireland caps on the back of his first QPR Player of the Year award.

But he is in line to pull on the green shirt again during Trapattoni's first two games in charge of the Republic - at home to Serbia on Saturday and then against Colombia at Craven Cottage five days later.

QPR left-back Damien Delaney has also been called up to the full squad for the first time after impressing Trapattoni with his performances this season.

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