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Dunne torn over retirement decision

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND centre-back Richard Dunne has yet to decide if he is to hang up his international boots.

The 32-year-old gave one of the most outstanding displays in an Irish shirt last year against Russia in Moscow but endured a torrid time at Euro 2012 having struggled to recover in time for the tournament from injury.

Now the Aston Villa man must weigh up the pros and cons of international retirement - especially as the World Cup in two years' time looms large.

"It has crossed my mind a few times over the summer to consider my international future," he said.

"It's hard after a tournament has gone the way ours has gone. It's probably easy to make a rash decision and just say 'that's it'.

"But I have to think about things and see. I wanted to return to pre-season training in America, see how things go and have a long, hard think about it."

Dunne will be 34 when Brazil host the World Cup in 2014 and he admits the lure of playing on the biggest stage of all appeals to him.

"On the one hand we've got a tough group coming up and there's talk of another couple of players retiring as well.

"But Brazil is a hell of a carrot dangling there. To play in a World Cup in Brazil would be massive. That's why it's such a difficult decision. We qualified for one tournament, why can't we qualify for the next one?

"If the boys did qualify for Brazil and suddenly I wasn't a part of it, it would be a major disappointment."