CHRIS Wood is cutting short his stint with New Zealand and returning to Burnley.

The Clarets front man, scorer of five Premier League goals so far this season, played 76 minutes as the Kiwis went down 3-1 against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Thursday night.

A first international appearance in two years, saw him come up against club mates Robbie Brady and Kevin Long, both of whom played the whole game for Mick McCarthy's side at the Aviva Stadium.

The All Whites next face Lithuania on Sunday but Wood, the record goalscorer for his country, will not be involved.

Wood missed two games recently with a hamstring problem and Kiwi boss Danny Hay says they are taking no chances with the 27-year-old.

“The game’s on artificial turf, so that’s why we don’t want to risk Winston Reid, Chris Wood and Ryan Thomas with what they’ve been through recently,” said the New Zealand coach.

Hay was at the Clarets' Barnfield Training Centre last week and then was in attendance as Wood marked his return from injury with a goal in the 3-0 win over West Ham.