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Eight Burnley players have been in international squads over the last week and a half, seven at full international level and one at under-21. They’ve won ten caps between them and are now either back or returning to Burnley ahead of our game against Hull this Saturday.

Scott Arfield will be the last of them back after playing for Canada in the early hours of this morning UK time. It was his second World Cup qualifying appearance for his adopted country in the last few days.

He played in controversial 2-1 defeat against Honduras, getting an assist as Canada went in front with a goal from Manjrekar James, and last night he was in the side that beat El Salvador 3-1 in Vancouver. Former Burnley team mate David Edgar, now back in Canada with Vancouver Whitecaps, featured in both games. He started the first but came on last night as a late substitute for Junior Hoilett and scored the third goal in stoppage time.

If Arfield is to be the last back in East Lancashire, then captain Tom Heaton was the first having been substitute for England’s 1-0 win in Slovakia and it was just one substitute appearance for Belgian midfielder Steven Defour. He won his first cap in almost two years when he replaced Kevin De Bruyne some three minutes from the end of a 2-0 home friendly against Spain, but it was a watching brief last night from the bench as they kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 3-0 win in Cyprus.

Sam Vokes, who scored that memorable goal in the Euros in France in the summer, was on the mark again for Wales, scoring their first goal in these World Cup qualifiers. Sam got between two defenders to head home a Gareth Bale cross. They went on to beat Moldova 4-0 in Cardiff although Sam came off with a quarter of an hour to go with a head injury which, thankfully, isn’t serious and not likely to keep him out on Saturday.

He wasn’t the only Burnley player to score either. When Martin O’Neill named his Republic of Ireland squad he included one Burnley player, as expected, in Stephen Ward. By the time they kicked off the first of two internationals, one had become two with Jeff Hendrick having signed that day from Derby.

He never made it to Burnley, everything taking place in Manchester after he’d flown in, and he was on a flight back to sit with Ward on the bench for a friendly against Oman. That was last Wednesday and both came on at half time in a 4-0 win; ward replaced Norwich’s Robbie Brady with Hendrick coming in for Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan.

However, both were in the starting line up for the first qualifying game against Serbia in Belgrade on Monday with Hendrick scoring the first goal of the game after just three minutes. Ireland fell behind with both Ward and then Hendrick being replaced in the last twenty minutes. Daryl Murphy, who moved from Ipswich to Newcastle last week, came on for Hendrick and scored the equaliser, his first international goal.

Defour and Hendrick both made their first international appearances as Burnley players and two became three on Monday night when Johann Berg Gudmundsson was in the Iceland team that drew 1-1 in Ukraine. He played all but the last six minutes of the game in which Iceland had led with a goal from Alfred Finnbogason, a player once linked with Burnley.

Finally, Up the Clarets reported last week that goalkeeper Conor Mitchell had made his debut at under-21 level for Northern Ireland in a home defeat against Iceland. He’s now made that two appearances but it was another defeat for Northern Ireland in Macedonia. Cameron Dummigan, now at Oldham, played in both games with Luke Conlan (Morecambe) returning for the Macedonia game after missing the Iceland game with a knock.

Burnley now have no fewer than twelve full internationals on the playing staff. Besides the seven who have been on duty during this international break, all of Danny Lafferty, Jon Flanagan, Paul Robinson, Fredrik Ulvestad and George Boyd have full caps.

Defour, Hendrick and Gudmundsson have taken the total number of Burnley players to be capped at full international level (while playing for Burnley) to 75 made up from the following countries: Albania (1), Belgium (1), Cameroon (1), Canada (2), England (25), Greece (2), Guyana (1), Iceland (2), Northern Ireland (19), Republic of Ireland (3), Jamaica (2), New Zealand (1), Scotland (7), Trinidad & Tobago (1), Wales (7).

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