Declan Rice: West Ham midfielder declares for England over Republic of Ireland

Declan Rice: West Ham midfielder declares for England over Republic of Ireland

Declan Rice has informed the FAI of his decision to pursue an global career with England, despite earning three senior caps for the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland coach Mick McCarthy and England counterpart Gareth Southgate were also consulted before being informed Wednesday that a request was made to Federation Internationale de Football Association to switch his global registration.

"Sad to hear, but good luck with England", one wrote.

Rice, who has won three senior Ireland caps - all in friendlies, which allows him to change his mind - qualifies for the Republic through his grandparents but was born in England to English parents.

Rice has impressed for the Hammers this season, scoring one goal in 23 appearances, but former England midfielder Redknapp says the youngster will be aware that he faces a tough challenge breaking into Gareth Southgate's side.

"Like so many people around the world, I consider myself to be of mixed nationality", the 20-year-old Rice said.

"I know he's spent months deliberating on it, no secret from the fact that he met England and Ireland to discuss his future".

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Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy said in a brief statement.

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 am truly grateful for the support I have received leading to this decision". "As an Englishman, I'm delighted about that".

"However, I am just as proud of my family's Irish heritage and my affinity and and connection with the country".

"He may have to wait longer to become a mainstay in England's midfield but, in Gareth Southgate, he has a manager who has consistently given chances to young players".

"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".

"My pride at wearing the Irish shirt was always 100% genuine", he said. "It was a great honour for myself and my family, and something I will always cherish".

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