Declan Rice looks set to snub England and resume his international career with Republic of Ireland
LONDON-BORN Declan Rice is expected to resume his international career with Republic of Ireland and decline an invitation to play for England.
The West Ham ace has been at the centre of a tug of war between Ireland and England despite having played three senior friendly internationals with the former and come through Ireland's youth system.
Rice was still free to consider his options as he hadn’t played in a competitive game for the Republic.
After the Republic returned from their end of season tour in America, Rice told the-then manager Martin O’Neill that he wanted time away from the international stage to decide his future.
It is understood the 19-year-old met with England manager Gareth Southgate and was shown around England’s facilities at St George’s Park.
O’Neill, who met with Rice’s father Sean, was constantly being asked at press conferences about Rice’s situation - and told reporters a decision was expected before the end of the year.
There was speculation the training ground spat between assistant manager Roy Keane with Harry Arter and Jon Walters in the US at the start of June may have had a bearing on Rice’s decision to step away from the Republic.
At his unveiling as the new manager of the Republic of Ireland last month, Mick McCarthy revealed he would try and persuade the defensive midfielder to declare for them.
“He's a good young player and someone we should be looking to build a team around,” McCarthy said, who planned to bring his new assistant Robbie Keane along to a meeting with Rice.
McCarthy added: “He has played through all the youth games, he has come through the system and is a really good player.”