Ireland defender Richard Dunne is to backbone the World Cup qualification bid – after answering Giovanni Trapattoni’s SOS.

Trap met the Aston Villa star in England on Saturday in a bid to persuade him not to quit international football.

The big Dubliner is vital to the team’s World Cup campaign after the retirement of goalkeeper Shay Given and winger Damien Duff.

Trap feared that Dunne would follow suit after the player said his future was unsure after the Euro 2012 disappointment in Poland.

But the talks in Birmingham were described as positive with Dunne keen to carry on for at least another two years.

An FAI statement confirmed: “Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli held a positive meeting with Richard Dunne.

“Richard reconfirmed that he will be available again for international duty once he makes a full recovery.”

Dunne will miss the opening World Cup game in Kazakhstan early next month as he recovers from a groin injury.

But the 33-year-old expects to be fit again in time for the visit of Germany to Dublin in October.

Richard DunneGoogle Images