Seven Hearts players set for international duty after five more Tynecastle men are called up

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Several members of the Riccarton squad will head off to represent their countries next week.

Australia, Costa Rica and Japan have called on Hearts players for international duty next week, taking the total number of Tynecastle men preparing to represent their country to seven.

Captain Lawrence Shankland and goalkeeper Zander Clark were named in the Scotland squad earlier this week. Nathaniel Atkinson, Kye Rowles and Cammy Devlin have followed after being selected by Australia, while forward Kenneth Vargas earned a Costa Rica call-up and winger Yutaro Oda will join up with the Japan Under-22 side.

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Australia are heading to the United States of America to take on Mexico at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas on September 10. The friendly match gives the Socceroos coach Graham Arnold important game time with his group, plus a chance to experiment under little pressure.

Vargas is eager to win his first cap for Costa Rica and cited that motivation as one of the main reasons he agreed to join Hearts from CS Herediano last month. The Central Americans will play Saudi Arabia in a friendly at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park on September 8 and Vargas could feature. Costa Rica then travel to Croatia to play the United Arab Emirates four days later.

The Japan Under-22 squad have three friendlies lined up during international fortnight, so Oda gets plenty opportunity for game time. They first meet Pakistan on September 6, then take on Palestine three days later before finishing off with a fixture against Bahrain on September 12.

Hearts will welcome the fact that seven of their players are gaining international recognition, whilst also hoping they all return to Edinburgh free of injury.