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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Worthington targets Kane for NI
Nigel Worthington
Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington hopes to persuade Belfast's Tony Kane to switch allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to the country of his birth.

The Blackburn Rovers full-back has played twice for the Republic U21s but is still eligible to represent NI as they were both friendly games.

Kane is now in the N Ireland U21 squad for a friendly match next week.

"We're giving him the opportunity to decide for himself but he seems pretty keen at the minute," said Worthington.

The latest tug-of-war follows the controversy over Manchester United youngster Darron Gibson, who is at the centre of a dispute between the Republic and Northern Ireland over his eligibility.

Worthington has been making attempts to persuade the Londonderry man to switch his allegiance back to Northern Ireland while Republic manager Steve Staunton will hope that awarding Gibson a first senior cap against Denmark ends the controversy.

However, the Irish FA insisted they would continue to press Fifa to rule on Gibson's eligibility even if he played in the non-competitive fixture against the Danes.

Gibson has been included in the Republic squad for their next two Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Kane was involved with N Ireland at U17 and U19 level before apparently committing himself to the Republic.

But he is likely to line-out for N Ireland in the Mourneview Park friendly against Germany next Friday night.

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