Aaron Hughes set for Northern Ireland retirement as Michael O'Neill calls up two Hearts players

Hearts defenders Michael Smith and Aaron Hughes have been named in Northern Ireland's squad for next month's European Championship qualifiers.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 10:38 am
Hearts players Michael Smith (left) and Aaron Hughes are both in the Northern Ireland squad

They are joined by Rangers players Kyle Lafferty, Steve Davis, Gareth McAuley and Jordan Jones, plus the young Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard.

Northern Ireland face Estonia in Tallinn on Saturday, June 8, and Belarus in Borisov three days later.

While Smith is recalled by coach Michael O'Neill having last represented his country in November 2018, these matches are expected to be Hughes' swansong before retirement.

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The 39-year-old made seven appearances for Hearts this season and said farewell in the final Ladbrokes Premiership match against Celtic at Parkhead.

He is now preparing to bow out at international level as the most capped British defender of all time. His number of appearances for Northern Ireland currently sits at 112.