READING FC duo Paul McShane and Liam Kelly have been ruled out of Republic of Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales in Dublin tomorrow night (7.45pm ko).

The Royals pair were both included in Martin O'Neill's provisional 39-man squad for the clash at the Aviva Stadium, with Kelly receiving his first senior call-up.

But both have picked up hamstring injuries and have been forced to withdraw after O'Neill whittled his squad down to 27 players.

Former Madejski Stadium men Alex Pearce, Jonny Hayes, Shane Long and Kevin Doyle all made the final cut and are in contention to face a Wales side containing Royals full-back Chris Gunter.

Chris Coleman's Dragons will be attempting to topple the Group D leaders in their own back yard to put their own qualification campaign back on track.

Gunter, 27, will play his 58th consecutive game for Wales when he trots out in Dublin and win 78th cap, putting him behind Neville Southall and Gary Speed in the country's all-time appearance list.

Chris Gunter, above right, boards the plane for Dublin for Wales' crucial World Cup clash with Republic of Ireland.

Reading have a number of other players away on international duty before the Championship returns on April 1 with a mouthwatering clash against Leeds United at Madejski Stadium.

Royals keeper Ali Al-Habsi, who had a blinder in the 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday last time out, is set to line up for Oman in an Asian Cup qualifier against Bhutan in Muscat next Tuesday.

Al-Habsi said: “It was really important to get the win going into the international break. I will go away with my national team and so will some of the other players.

“We also have some injuries at the moment so maybe the break will help players recover over the next two weeks.

“Then we have another big game against Leeds when we come back.”

Reading Chronicle:

Liam Kelly's hamstring injury forced him to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad.

Reading’s final eight games of the Championship season will also see them face all of the division’s bottom five teams as it currently stands.

Al-Habsi declared: “There is still a long way to go and we need to play as well as we did against Sheffield Wednesday for the remaining eight games.

"If we can do that I don’t think we’ll have a problem finishing in the top six.”

Meanwhile, Adrian Popa, who netted his first Reading goal in their victory at Hillsborough last week, is in the Romania squad for their World Cup qualifier against Denmark in Cluj this Sunday.

Deniss Rakels has been called up by Latvia for their qualifier against Switzerland in Geneva on Saturday while John Swift is in Aidy Boothroyd's England Under 21 squad for clashes against Germany tomorrow and Denmark on Monday.

Reading's on-loan West Ham defender Reece Oxford has been named in the England Under 19s squad for three matches against Norway, Spain then Belarus at St George's Park.

Al-Habsi added: “We have an Asian Cup qualifier against Bhutan in Oman. We hope to have a good start because I have been away for one year as we have only played international friendlies.

“But I need to go and enjoy it then come back to Reading for a tough April with seven games. Given the way we have performed all season we cannot drop this opportunity.

“Everyone around the football club believed in the gaffer and how he wants us to play. We need to stay focussed.”

Reading Chronicle:

Reading boss Jaap Stam congratulates Ali Al-Habsi after his man-of-the-match display at Sheffield Wednesday.

Finally, Jody Palmer, head chef at Reading's Hogwood Park training ground, has also received an international call-up after accepting an invitation from Wales.