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Carr announces international retirement

Newcastle's Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Carr has announced his retirement from international football.

The 31-year-old full-back, who was capped 44 times at senior international level, has decided to call it a day after the Republic missed out on next summer's Euro 2008 finals.

He told his club's official website: 'I feel honoured to have represented the Republic of Ireland on 44 occasions and have thoroughly enjoyed my international career.

'It's a chance now for the FAI to re-build for the future. There are many good young players that are coming out of Ireland, with the likes of Kevin Foley at Wolves, that should get the opportunity to play now.'

Dublin-born Carr, who joined Newcastle in a £2million switch from Tottenham, made his international debut against Sweden in 1999.

He has spent much of the last three months fighting for fitness after picking up a hamstring injury at Middlesbrough in August, and has only just returned to contention for selection for his club.