Payet leads international call-ups

West Ham United look set to have at least two representatives at UEFA Euro 2016 after Dimitri Payet followed James Collins in being called-up by his country.

Payet was named in Didier Deschamps’ 23-man France squad for their home championship finals on Thursday evening, following Collins’ own inclusion in Wales’ 29-man pre-tournament training camp.

Starting with Payet, the 29-year-old’s inclusion completes an outstanding 12 months for the attacking midfielder, who has excelled in his first season in Claret and Blue, won the Hammer of the Year award and returned to the international set-up.

The No27 arrived from Marseille with a strong reputation which he has only enhanced with a campaign that has so far yielded 12 goals and 15 assists in 38 West Ham appearances.

Payet returned to the France squad after a nine-month hiatus in March this year, returning to the starting XI with a sensational free-kick goal against Russia in Paris – his fifth successful direct set piece of the season.

The Reunion-born star also took an influential role in the Final Game at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday, setting up West Ham’s second and third goal in a 3-2 victory over Manchester United.

Speaking afterwards, Payet again thanked the Claret and Blue Army for their support of him and his teammates this season.

“It was a very, very big night,” he said. “We wanted to win in front of our supporters for the final time here.

“The scenario was magnificent. We didn't give up. We managed to score those three goals, despite trailing 2-1.

“It was exceptional, the fans played their part. We try to reward them and I think we succeeded. It was a very good night!”

As hosts, France are in Group A alongside Albania, Romania and Switzerland.

Collins, meanwhile, has been named in Chris Coleman’s 29-man training squad for a camp in Portugal, with the final 23-man selection being made on 31 May.

Wales will play Sweden in Stockholm on 5 June before travelling to its Team Base Camp in Dinard, Brittany, where they will prepare for their opening Group B game of the tournament against Slovakia in Bordeaux on 11 June. Wales will then play England in Lens on 11 June and travel to Toulouse for the match against Russia on 20 June.

West Ham are set to send a third player to France, with goalkeeper Darren Randolph starring for the Republic of Ireland in their final qualifying matches and Play-Off win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The in-form stopper will face a tough test if Martin O’Neill keeps faith with him in France, with the Boys in Green being paired alongside Belgium, Italy and Sweden in Group E.

Elsewhere, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho could be involved for Senegal in their 2017 AFCON qualifier in Burundi in early June, while Enner Valencia will hope to be included in Ecuador’s final squad for the Centennial Copa America in the United States.

Ecuador will be hopeful of advancing from Group B, which also contains Brazil, Haiti and Peru.

Finally, Dylan Tombides Award winner Declan Rice started and Anthony Scully appeared as a substitute as Republic of Ireland U18s drew 2-2 with Germany in an international friendly in Ruesselsheim am Main on Wednesday.