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Leeds United Trio Called Up for International Duty

O’Kane, Dallas, and Wood will be playing during the international break for their countries... stay healthy, lads.

Blackburn Rovers V Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship
Stuart Dallas is amongst the three LUFC international call-ups.
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

We’re in the middle of a promotion chase, but we’re also only a few days away from the March international break. While their teams look to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, three Leeds United players will be representing their countries.

Republic of Ireland v Switzerland - International Friendly Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Midfielder Eunan O’Kane got the call-up to the Republic of Ireland’s International 39-man provisional squad and will hope to be on the final 23-man roster as Ireland plays Wales and Iceland on the 24th and 28th of March.

O’Kane has made five prior appearances for the Irish but failed to make Ireland’s Euro 2016 squad. He previously played for Northern Ireland at the U16 and U21 level but switched allegiances in 2012.

The Republic of Ireland has a lot of talent in the center mid position: O’Kane will have to try to earn a spot with James McCarthy, Harry Arter, Conor Hourihane, and Darren Gibson also in the mix. Ireland is currently sitting pretty on top of Group D in the qualifier. They’re first place with 10 points, followed by Serbia with 8, and Wales with 6.

Wales v Northern Ireland - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Winger Stuart Dallas also got the call, and he’ll be representing Northern Ireland as they face Norway on March 26th. It’s a shame Eunan O’Kane didn’t stick to Northern Ireland; it’d be pretty cool seeing him and Dallas have a club and country connection.

Dallas has made 19 appearances for the Green and White Army since 2011 and has been a part of the national team program since being a Northern Ireland Junior international. Stuart will play alongside Chris Brunt, Steven David, and Will Grigg.

Northern Ireland is currently tied with Azerbaijan in Group C with seven points each, behind Germany (12 points) but ahead of the Czech Republic (5 points).

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier - New Zealand v New Caledonia Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Lastly, star striker Chris Wood will be representing New Zealand as they face off in a double-header against Fiji on March 24th and 27th. Wood has been representing New Zealand since 2007 when he made his debut in the 2007 U17 World Cup in Korea.

He has 42 appearances for the Kiwis, and he has 19 goals to show for it.

A bunch of New Zealand's players play in Australia’s A-League, with an exception to Bill Tuiloma (Olympique Marseille), Kip Colvey (San Jose Earthquakes), and Maxime Crocombe (Carlisle United).

New Zealand probably has the easiest path through the qualifiers, as they are in a group of three with New Caledonia and Fiji. They are on top of the group with 4 points, New Caledonia with 1, and Fiji with 0.

Best of luck to all three of our lads, here’s hoping we have no injuries and come back ready for the biggest April in Leeds in a long time. MOT.