Republic of Ireland's Dunne announces international retirement

The QPR defender has decided to focus solely on his club career, having won promotion to the Premier League with Harry Redknapp's side last season
Richard Dunne has retired from international football after earning 80 caps for Republic of Ireland.

The 34-year-old centre-half, who won promotion to the Premier League with QPR last season, made his debut on the world stage in 2000, against Greece, with his final cap coming versus Kazakhstan in October last year.

Speaking about his decision to step down from Ireland duty, Dunne told QPR's official website: "Retiring from international football has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make.

"I have represented Ireland since I was 15 years of age, and have thoroughly enjoyed all the highs and lows that have come with playing for my country.

"I will continue to support the team as they embark upon their new campaign under Martin O'Neill, and have every faith that they will qualify for France 2016.

"I'd like to thank everyone I worked alongside during my time with Ireland, from managers, to players, to backroom staff. I have so many great memories that will stay with me forever."

Dunne, who counts Everton, Manchester City and Aston Villa among his former clubs, scored eight goals for Ireland.