CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe backed Harry Arter to star in next year’s World Cup – should Republic of Ireland qualify.

Arter will tomorrow hope to feature when the Boys in Green travel to Denmark in the first stanza of a two-legged play-off, with a spot in Russia on the line (7.45pm).

And Howe is keeping his fingers crossed that the Sidcup-born midfielder, who qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents, can help put his national team in the box seat heading into Tuesday’s decisive clash in Dublin.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “It’s a great incentive for him. To go to a World Cup as a player would be the pinnacle of your career.

“There are other things you can achieve in the game which come close to it but I think that would be a huge moment for him and I hope he can do it.

“His career has had a dramatic rise and full credit to him for that rise. I think we want to see it continue for him.

“At the age he is now, I think he would be ready for that. I think he is in a really good position to kick on and, hopefully, have a good season with us and enjoy the World Cup.”

Capped nine times by Ireland, Arter made his senior bow in June 2015 when he entered the fray as a second-half substitute during a 0-0 friendly draw with England at Aviva Stadium.

The 27-year-old’s full debut in May last year yielded a man-of-the-match display in a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands and after his Euro 2016 dream was wrecked by injury, his maiden competitive outing arrived in a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win away to Austria 12 months ago.

Arter played 77 minutes of Ireland’s 1-0 victory over Wales in Cardiff last month, a fixture which sealed a play-off place for Martin O’Neill’s side. And the former Woking man’s dummy played a crucial role in James McClean’s winning goal.

Discussing his mindset ahead of the trip to Copenhagen, Arter said: “It excites me. I haven’t had that sort of dream in sight before. For me, to qualify for the World Cup would be a dream.

“For it to be two games away makes it something I am really looking forward to. Hopefully, I can play a positive part.”

Ireland head into the first leg full of confidence following back-to-back wins over Moldova and the Welsh.

Denmark were the lowest-ranked seed for the draw which saw O’Neill’s men avoid a showdown with Italy, Croatia or Switzerland.

Ireland have won just three of eight play-off ties, the most recent being when they saw off Bosnia-Herzegovina to reach the Euro 2016 finals.

Arter has featured in seven of Cherries’ 11 Premier League games this season, starting in six of those fixtures.

He was yesterday linked with a January move to West Ham by the Mirror, following the appointment of boss David Moyes.