West Ham whizkid Rice chooses England over Ireland

14 Février, 2019, 03:23 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Declan Rice has chosen England over the Republic of Ireland

The West Ham United midfielder has opted to play for England.

Rice, who has played in three Republic of Ireland friendly games against Turkey, France and U.S., said he had called Mick McCarthy and Gareth Southgate on Wednesday to inform them of a decision he described as "extremely difficult". But the competition is greater for a starting place - especially after England reached the semifinals at last year's World Cup and will play in the UEFA Nations League final four in June.

With Irish heritage but born in London, Rice says he considers himself "to be of mixed nationality".

"This has been an extremely hard decision and, in all honesty, not one I ever expected to be making at this stage of my career", Rice said in a statement.

In a statement Rice said: "This afternoon I telephoned both Mick McCarthy and Gareth Southgate to inform them of my decision to submit a written request to Federation Internationale de Football Association for the transfer of my worldwide registration from the Republic of Ireland to England".

'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. "I am truly grateful for the support I have received in leading to this decision", he said.

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In the statement, he said that he has "equal love for both England and Ireland", which is why it taken him months to make the decision.

I fully accept that some Irish supporters will be disappointed ...

"I would also like to make it clear that, in requesting to transfer my national team representation, I am not taking for granted a call-up to the England squad or making any assumptions about my future global career".

'Good luck to him'.

Rice said: "My pride at wearing the Irish shirt was always 100 percent genuine", but added that he hopes to be called up by England because that's "best for my future".

Rice qualified for Ireland through his grandparents from Cork.

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