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Published: 11:28 | 4/6/16

McCarthy boost for Ireland

Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy expects to be fit for the Euro 2016 opener against Sweden on 13 June.

The 25-year-old suffered an injury to his groin and hamstring in Everton's final Premier League match of the season against Norwich, but is confident he will be fit for the Stade de France opener after training with the Ireland squad in Cork this week.

Asked if he would be ready to face Sweden in nine days time, McCarthy said: "Yes, I should be fine.

"I've trained with the team the last couple of days and hopefully now I can step it up. It's obviously good to be back training again with the squad and hopefully now I can kick on and step up the fitness.

"It's hamstring, groin - it's a bit of both, to be honest - but as I say, I am back training and delighted to be back with the squad."

McCarthy, who missed out on Euro 2012 after his father was diagnosed with cancer, is determined to make the most of his first major tournament with Ireland.

"We have got a tough group, don't get me wrong, but we'll take it a game at a time,” he continued.

“Each and everyone one of us who is going on the plane and travelling to France, we know it's going to be tough, but there's a real excitement about the place and we are looking forward to it."

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