Ward out of NI squad

  • Last Updated: May 21 2014, 11:37 BST

Derby striker Jamie Ward has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad for the friendlies against Uruguay and Chile.

Jamie Ward: Waiting for the Sky Bet Championship play-off final
Jamie Ward: Waiting for the Sky Bet Championship play-off final

Ward, whose Rams side take on QPR in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley on Saturday, feels it is "not in his best interests or the interests of the international squad for him to travel to South America due to his extended club season", the Irish Football Association said in a statement.

Fleetwood right-back Conor McLaughlin has been called up and will join up with the national squad after Monday's League Two play-off final against Southend.

Huddersfield striker Martin Paterson pulled out of the squad on Tuesday.

Michael O'Neill's side Ireland face Uruguay in Montevideo on May 30 and then take on Chile in Valparaiso on June 4.