JOEY O'Brien has been given the perfect birthday present, his first call into the Republic of Ireland senior squad.

The Dubliner, who is 20 today, is one of six uncapped players named by new Ireland manager, Steve Staunton, for the March 1 friendly against Sweden at Lansdowne Road.

Midfielder O'Brien, a product of the Wanderers academy, has excelled as an emergency right-back, delighting manager, Sam Allardyce, who gave him his first Premiership start in the home victory over West Brom in October.

"Joey has come on in leaps and bounds and is now an integral part of the team," Allardyce said. "His call is a recognition for all the hard work he has been putting in."