West Ham star Declan Rice declares for England over Republic of Ireland

14 Février, 2019, 08:00 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion

Between 2015 and 2018, he represented the Republic of Ireland at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, playing 20 times in total.

Rice, who has made 59 appearances for West Ham, has excelled this season at London Stadium and has attracted England boss Gareth Southgate's attention.

The decision represents a massive blow for Mick McCarthy and the Irish setup, as Rice has chose to turn his back on the Boys in Green and play for Southgate's England instead.

"I am not taking for granted a call-up to the England squad", Rice said, "or making any assumptions about my future worldwide career".

"So much has happened, so quickly, in the past couple of years, from progressing through the West ham Academy to making my Premier League debut at the age of 18 in 2017 and then being named in the full global squad just two days later".

'Good luck to him'.

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The news comes a setback for McCarthy, who returned for his second spell as Ireland manager after the departure of O'Neill in November.

Rice went on to say he considers himself to be of mixed nationality, adding that he's a "proud Englishman" but also proud of "my family's Irish heritage".

'I have also spoken to Martin O'Neill and Mick McCarthy, Gareth Southgate and to friends and colleagues within the game whose opinion I respect.

Rice said he was "truly grateful" for the support he has received in coming to his decision and insisted it was never a black and white decision.

"Ultimately it is a personal decision that I have made with my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future. My pride at wearing the Irish shirt was always 100% genuine".

Back in September, the defensive midfielder asked for time out to decide his worldwide future as winning a competitive cap for the Boys in Green would have tied him to the country for the remainder of his career.

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