Just three days before the Premier League season starts three Sunderland players have been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad by Giovanni Trapattoni.
Defender John O'Shea, Winger James McClean and 'Keeper Kieren Westwood are all included in Trap's squad for a friendly on the even of the season against Serbia in Belgrade on August 15th.
All three players are currently having an extended break having been involved with the Irish squad for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine this summer, and will be looking to get involved with the first team when they arrive back from Korea early next week.
The timing of the international fixture date is incredibly poor, but nothing less than you'd expect from FIFA these days. Ireland don't play a World Cup qualifier until September, and although I'm not advocating they do, if any of the trio, particularly O'Shea and McClean withdrew through 'injury' it wouldn't be the worst thing for Sunderland.
The positive news however is that Keiren Westwood looks like he could start the game, staking a claim for a regular spot with Shay Given out of the picture. Westwood should beat out competition from David Forde and Darren Randolph.
Ireland Squad to face Serbia;
Kieren Westwood, David Forde, Darren Randolph; Marc Wilson, John O'Shea, Sean St. Ledger, Darren O'Dea, Stephen Ward, Stephen Kelly, Paul McShane; Glenn Whelan, Darron Gibson, James McCarthy, Paul Green, Seamus Coleman, Aiden McGeady, Andy Keogh, James McClean, Keith Treacy; Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Simon Cox, Jon Walters.
By the time this friendly rolls around it could be four Sunderland players in the squad, if rumours of a move for Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady come to fruition.