Rice snubs Ireland as he pledges allegiance to England

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West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has decided his international future lies with England after defecting from the Republic of Ireland.

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has decided his international future lies with England after defecting from the Republic of Ireland.

The 20-year-old, who has Irish grandparents, played for the Republic from Under-16 level and has gone on to make three senior appearances in friendly matches.

But because he has yet to make a competitive outing for Ireland, Rice confirmed last summer that he was deliberating which nation to play for.

And the Londoner has confirmed on Wednesday that he is now planning to try and force his way into Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions plans.

In a long statement on Twitter, he said: ‘I consider myself to be of mixed nationality.

I have equal respect for both England and Ireland and therefore the national team I choose to represent is not a clear-cut, simple selection.

‘Ultimately, it is a personal decision I have made with my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future.

‘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.

‘ Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy said: ‘Declan rang me today and said he has decided to give it a go with England.

Good luck to him.’

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