Strachan hands Ritchie first Scotland call-up

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The Bournemouth midfielder, who was born in England, has impressed this season, scoring 11 goals, and is in line to make his senior bow against Northern Ireland and Gibraltar

Matt Ritchie has been rewarded for his fine form at Bournemouth with a first senior call-up for Scotland.

The midfielder - who was born in England, but qualifies for Scotland through his father - has scored 11 goals in 35 appearances for the Championship leaders this season, and could take his first steps on the international scene as Gordon Strachan's side face Northern Ireland and Gibraltar next week.

A 26-man squad has been selected ahead of fixtures against Northern Ireland in a friendly on March 25, before Gibraltar head to Hampden Park in a Euro 2016 qualifier four days later.

Ritchie is joined in the squad by the returning Jordan Rhodes, the Blackburn Rovers striker replacing the injured Chris Martin as one of five forwards in Strachan's squad.

There is also a recall for Hull City's Allan McGregor, the 33-year-old regaining his place from Matt Gilks after missing out on the last squad with a shoulder injury.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City), Allan McGregor (Hull City)

Defenders: Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen), Andrew Robertson (Hull City), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City).

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Bolton Wanderers), Scott Brown (Celtic), Darren Fletcher (West Brom), James Forrest (Celtic), Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), James Morrison (West Brom), Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth), Johnny Russell (Derby County).

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Steven May (Sheffield Wednesday), Ross McCormack (Fulham), Steven Naismith (Everton), Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers).

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