By Peter Lynch

17th Nov, 2023 | 4:10pm

Rangers ace Ross McCausland starts for Michael O’Neill on Northern Ireland duty amid rise under Philippe Clement

Rangers attacker Ross McCausland has been handed a first start for Northern Ireland in their match against Finland on Friday (17 November).

Michael O’Neill’s side are in Helsinki for the Euro 2024 qualifying clash, with McCausland making his international debut.

The Gers winger was only called up to the squad on Tuesday (14 November), with Northern Ireland also taking on Denmark in this current break.

Rapid rise

McCausland has really enjoyed a rapid rise lately, with the youngster not in the first team picture for club or country earlier this season.

He was overlooked by former Gers boss Michael Beale, but is one of a number of players to have been given game time under new manager Philippe Clement.

And he is one of a number to have taken that opportunity with open arms, with McCausland handed his first start for Rangers against Livingston on Sunday (12 November).

The young winger certainly impressed in that Scottish Premiership encounter, where he thought he netted his first goal for the club, only for it to be ruled out due to a foul by fellow forward Abdallah Sima.

Northern Ireland manager O’Neill has now taken notice of the youngster’s displays, handing McCausland a first international start.

Injuries to several key players may have forced the manager’s hand, but McCausland won’t care one bit, with the youngster certain to be delighted and proud of this achievement.

In other Rangers news, a journalist has predicted there to be “no shortage of takers” for one Gers ace if new contract talks “prove difficult” for the player.