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Rice decision is bad news

Declan Rice’s decision not to even consider swapping alleigance from the Republic to England is a blow for Gareth Southgate and whoever follows him into the international manager’s job.

Assuming I can find a stream, I’ll be tuning into the Republic v Turkey game tonight hoping Dec will be playing as I consider him the best thing to come out of West Ham in many years.

Basically a central defender, he has played right and left of the back four plus moved into midfield when injuries have intervened this season.

I want to see how he adapts to international level and should Martin O’Neill select him it will be another testimony to the lad’s’ promise.  

He is currently experiencing  his first involvement with Martin O’Neill’s side proper, having previously trained with them before last year’s trip to America. England boss Gareth Southgate said in January he was keen on London-born Rice, who can play in midfield or defence.

But the 19-year-old said: “There’s no decision to be made. I have not had a call from the FA and England have never wanted me at under-age level — it’s always been Ireland. Asked if he would meet Southgate for a chat, Rice added: “No, not at all. I’m fully focused on Ireland.”

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

6 comments on “Rice decision is bad news

  1. Fair play to him. He is loyal to people who had faith in him. I wish other players had been like that in the last few years.
    It’s also good for his club, because he won’t go away to so many international tournaments with Ireland.

  2. Good lad. He has morals and loyalty.

  3. sleepswithdafishes, totally agree, nice to see him stick with Ireland as they gave him his chances at a younger age. Really good to see loyalty, hopefully he feels the same about West Ham!!

  4. rice wasnt ever approached by england at age level. noble was england u21 captain and still never played at senior level. im sure rice and cullen will be more than aware of how noble has fared holding out for england when he could have chose to play for ireland.

  5. Yes I agree with you all nice bit of loyalty goes a long way now a days in football.. Good on ya Dec

  6. Being Irish I am thrilled.

    Rice won man of the match award on his senior Irish debut tonight. Great in the first half at centre half. Moved to midfield at half time where he was outstanding. Compared to Roy Keane in terms of ability to move a whole team forward when on the ball. He has a long future ahead as a central part if that Irish team.

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