28.05.2016 14:44 h

Grigg makes NIreland squad for Euros

Will Grigg was on Saturday named in Michael O'Neill's final 23-man Northern Ireland squad for Euro 2016, but Liam Boyce, Billy McKay, Daniel Lafferty, Michael Smith and Ben Reeves all missed the cut.

Grigg, whose 25 goals fired Wigan to the English League One title, opened his international account in the 3-0 victory over Belarus on Friday and has earned the nod over Wigan team-mate McKay and Boyce, despite the latter scoring 20 times for Ross County last term.

Lee Hodson has been preferred to one-cap right-back Smith while fellow full-back Lafferty and midfielder Reeves have suffered after not featuring regularly for their Championship clubs.

QPR's Conor Washington has been included having scored twice in his three caps to date while Aaron Hughes, 36, will arrive in France with a century of international appearances should he feature in Slovakia next week ahead of the country's first finals in 30 years.

O'Neill confirmed his biggest decision boiled down to whether to pick Grigg or Boyce as his fourth forward alongside Kyle Lafferty, Washington and Josh Magennis.

"It was very difficult leaving lads out who didn't make it," O'Neill said.

"I've spoken individually to all the players. Some of the lads maybe thought it was 50-50 whether they were going to go. I determined I'd bring four central attackers, Josh gives us that opportunity to play wide. Probably the most difficult decision was between Liam Boyce and Will Grigg.

"Liam had a great first half of the season and had a hand injury second half. We watch the lads in Scotland maybe more than the other lads.

"Will just kept scoring, has 28 goals, is in a good place and his club has been promoted. Then he stepped on to the pitch last night and scored again. It was a difficult decision but I think it's the right one."

Northern Ireland squad for Euro 2016 finals:

Goalkeepers: Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Hamilton Academical), Roy Carroll (Linfield)

Defenders: Craig Cathcart (Watford), Jonathan Evans (West Bromwich Albion), Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion), Luke McCullough (Doncaster Rovers), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Lee Hodson (MK Dons), Aaron Hughes (Free agent), Patrick McNair (Manchester United), Chris Baird (Derby County)

Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Oliver Norwood, (Reading), Corry Evans, (Blackburn Rovers), Shane Ferguson (Millwall), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest)

Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City), Conor Washington (Queens Park Rangers), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock), Will Grigg (Wigan Athletic)