Hammer declares for England

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has finally declared he intends to play for England, ending a long-running wrangle over his international allegiances.

The 20-year-old released a statement on his personal Twitter account this afternoon announcing his decision and Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has since confirmed that the player had informed him of his decision beforehand.

Rice qualified for Ireland through his grandparents from Cork. 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.

In 2018, he graduated to the senior side and made three appearances in friendlies under Martin O’Neill. In each game, the Londoner was Ireland’s best player.

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

The confirmation has not come as a surprise to most supporters with regular reports he had been courted by Gareth Southgate and England.

ClaretandHugh: Fabulous news for England but we feel a little sorry for the Republic after Dec had made those early appearances for the nation. However, it was always the more likely option that he would settle for the Three Lions  and it has to be respected given how long the lad has been agonising over the decision. It would be natural that his Dad would probably want him to play for the nation of his birth but given he grew up and learned all his football in this country it’s now perfectly understandable why he has opted to pledge himself to England. As a Hammer I believe he will eventually – and perhaps not too far in the future – become skipper of our great club. I am equally sure that he will also become the Three Lions skipper which may – given that he would follow the great Mooro into the role finally give us the chance of winning something again!

Copy of Declan’s Twitter statement is below:

About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

12 comments on “Hammer declares for England

  1. Sad news for Ireland, the statement is very well written, he has an old head on young shoulders and hopefully has made the right decision for his future.

  2. Considering his parents are English and he only qualified through a grandparent I don’t know why he was playing for Ireland in the first place. I understand the Irish are so short of talent they will naturally want to recruit a young lad with an Irish name no matter how English he might be, but as far as Declan is concerned, he had to follow his heart. And his heart probably had him following In the steps of his hero John Terry.

  3. Let’s just hope he gets to play for England as soon as possible otherwise he is going to feel egg on his face and no one wants that.

  4. No. 32, I doubt very much that Rice wrote a single word of that statement. It’s been written by a PR professional.

    Rice has made his choice as he is entitled to do but I don’t think there is much honesty or integrity in accepting caps from one country and then deciding it might be in your personal interest to switch allegiance to another country.

    • I think you are wrong Sparrow, not in that it wasn’t written by a PR professional, although hearing Rice speak in general I think he was capable of choosing those words himself but in that he has two nationalities both English and Irish, personally I had hoped he had stayed with Ireland because I think it would have been his preferred choice. As a player that wants to be the best that they can be, you have to test yourself against the best, in an Ireland team thin on talent, unlikely to reach many final stages of competitions and managed by Mick McCarthy what would his future look like ? For sure financially he will be worth more playing for England and I have no doubt his agent would have been pressuring him, I think he has a strong enough sense of his self to make the right decision for him, some people are able to think clearly under pressure and Rice seems to be one of those, he would have weighed up all the pro’s and cons and made his own mind up, for sure he will have known this would come with a lot of flack. I read an article in the Irish Independent yesterday that said its easy to blame Rice but the FAI are out constantly trying to poach anyone with an ancestral Irish lineage, look at their pursuit of Patrick Bamford and Nathan Redmond as examples, every international team is doing this but FAI more than most, so no one should feel sorry that someone chooses the country of their birth over Ireland and it is hypocritical for any Irish to suggest as much even if they have played friendlies etc, both sides are out for their own self interest. The independent suggested that if FAI were doing a better job of coaching home grown talent they wouldn’t be reliant on other nations to improve the quality of the team.

      • I respect your opinion 32 and agree with much of what you say but those points aren’t really relevant to Rice’s decision. The (in)competence of Ireland’s FA hasn’t changed since he accepted his Irish caps. I personally don’t see what’s wrong with the Irish FA sourcing players where they can, within the rules. What I don’t agree with is playing at full international level for a country and then walking out on them and switching allegiance. I don’t have such an issue if he did it after only age group caps, but once you are an adult and accept a cap at full international level, I think it’s wrong to do what Rice has done.
        For what it’s worth, that’s my opinion.

        • I respect yours also Sparrow, agree and sympathise if you are Irish, any adult cap for your country should count but maybe if that were the case you would see friendly teams made up of all ancestral types just to lock them into a national team even if they had little chance of being regulars ?

          • Would like to point out also that i wasn’t describing any Irish people as hypocritical that was the conclusion of the paper.

          • 32, I’m English and think that, in time, he’ll be a great asset to our national team. It’s just a matter of principle that I believe it is wrong, as a full international, to dump your chosen country and switch allegiance to another because you later decide that is in your personal best interest. To me it lacks integrity and is disloyal.

  5. When Declan was first called up for Ireland, he was very young and probably overwhelmed by the thought of playing international football for any one. He is older and much more mature now and can see things in a different light. He and his parents are English. Who’s interests was he supposed to consider if not his own? If he chose Ireland he wouldn’t have much chance to play in major tournament finals, which is the pinnacle of any footballers career. Perhaps the governing bodies realise that younger players are not emotionally mature enough to make life changing decisions, so don’t make youth games binding on picking your eventual national team.

  6. Sparrow, you and I have very different views on what constitutes honest and integrity. I cannot see how, all things considered, he could’ve gone about things in a way that shows any more of those two qualities.

    • We certainly do have different views on integrity Mr. Lurve.
      I just happen to believe that having passed into adulthood and accepted caps at full international level for a country, it is wrong for a man to walk out on that country and switch his allegiance.

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