AARON CONNOLLY has been challenged to pass the national anthem test if he is handed a first senior international start.

The Albion striker is with the Republic of Ireland senior squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers in Georgia on Saturday and Switzerland next Tuesday.

Ireland boss Mick McCarthy said he would have been “potty” not to promote Connolly from the under-21s after his two goals against Tottenham, regardless of any injuries in his squad.

Connolly was heading to the seniors from the moment record Ireland goalscorer Robbie Keane, who was at the Amex to watch him against Spurs, gave McCarthy a glowing report.

They will know more about the 19-year-old’s ability to step up after training today.

McCarthy said: “Psychologically, emotionally, stood there listening to the national anthem and, all of a sudden, he’s got all that going on in his head about his family and that he is playing for his country.

“But he may well be just one of those who is young enough and not bothered that just allows him to go out and play. He did that on Saturday, that’s for sure.

“Some have that in them that it does not affect them. Not too many do.

“If he comes and trains (today) and he’s like ‘I shouldn’t be here’, and you can see it straight away, or he gets it, says ‘have a bit of that’. then that will convince me.”

McCarthy says there would be no risk in starting Connolly.

He would be happy to play him wide and entrust him with the defensive chores that entails.

McCarthy added: “I don’t think he’d have a problem with that. He is very quick to start with.

“Sometimes it’s not a willingness to work hard but the nous.

“Someone gets a run on you and it’s getting yourself into that position, being there, not neglecting your workload but someone catches you unawares.

“No matter how quick he is, you are playing against some of the really quick right-backs or left-backs, up against a wide player and they’re gone, in the box and going to score.

“So it’s having that nous and responsibility and I don’t think he would shirk on that, not when I saw him against Armenia under-21s.

“On Saturday, he played up front, not in those wide areas.

“He has proved himself on one occasion and scored two goals. Who is to say where it goes from here? But it does look promising.

“It’s not a guarantee but he’s played against Spurs who are one of the top teams, although they are not playing like that at the moment.

“He put in a really good performance and proved that he can play at that level. But I was impressed by him before that, by the way.”