Rice confirms he will represent England instead of Ireland

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has chosen to represent England at global level following a lengthy statement on his Twitter account this afternoon.

'Declan rang me today and said he has chose to give it a go with England, ' he said. "Good luck to him", McCarthy said.

"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".

However, England approached Rice last summer and the West Ham star subsequently made himself unavailable for Ireland in order to consider his options.

'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'.

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 by my decision, and that everyone has different opinions in regard to the rules around worldwide representation", Rice said.

Rice confirmed his decision in a statement which read: "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". In each game, the Londoner was Ireland's best player.

Able to play both in the centre of defence and midfield, Rice will be confident of a place in the Three Lions squad in the near future - especially given Eric Dier's inconsistent efforts as manager Gareth Southgate's only natural defensive midfielder. "My pride at wearing the Irish shirt was always 100% genuine".

Former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker poked fun at the news on Twitter, writing: "He's one of our own.He's one of our own.Declan Rice.he's one of our own".

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