Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales final two World Cup qualifiers

The Republic of Ireland have received a big boost with the news that Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales final two World Cup qualifiers.

The Real Madrid star will sit out the Welsh game against Georgia in Tbilisi on Friday, and next week's Group D showdown with Ireland in Cardiff.

Bale missed Real Madrid's game against Espanyol at the weekend with a calf problem, but he is now said to be suffering from a hamstring injury.

His fitness had been in doubt since limping out of last week's Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund.

Bale's absence could lead to a first start for Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn.

Irish fans have been reacting to the news on Twitter.

The 17-year-old came off the bench to score the winner against Austria last month.

Harry Arter, James McCarthy and David McGoldrick were back training with the Irish squad in Abbotstown this morning ahead of Friday's match against Moldova at the Aviva Stadium.

Shane Long was rested, but the Tipperary man has recovered from a dead leg and is expected to be available for Friday's game against Moldova at the Aviva Stadium.

McCarthy has yet to play for Everton this season due to a persistent hamstring injury.

Manager Martin O'Neil insists new strikers Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire and Aiden O'Brien have a chance to start.

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