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Declan Rice Told He Should Not Have Been Able To Change International Allegiance To England

Josh Lawless

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Declan Rice Told He Should Not Have Been Able To Change International Allegiance To England

Featured Image Credit: Image: PA

Declan Rice has been told he should have not been allowed to switch international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.

Rice has Irish paternal grandparents and played for the country at various youth age groups and was named Republic of Ireland U17 Player of the Year in 2017.

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He then made his senior debut in March 2018 and played three times for the senior side - even being tipped as a future Ireland captain by Mick McCarthy.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Rice was then approached to play for England, his birth country and played his allegiance to the Three Lions in February 2019.

Because all three of his appearances for Ireland came in friendlies, a FIFA rule meant Rice was free to change national teams and it was made official in March 2019.

Having made his debut in that very same month, the West Ham captain has been capped 30 times for England and grown into an important member of Gareth Southgate's starting XI.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But England legend Stuart Pearce, who coached Rice at West Ham, believes the rule needs changing.

“One thing I disagree with and I think a ruling should be made, as soon as you wear a national shirt for a country, you cannot change allegiances and go and play for someone else," Pearce said on talkSPORT.

“If you play youth football up to Under-21… when we played a tournament against Germany in a major final, their left back turned up playing for the Canadians a month later or however long, from being a German Under-21 international, which you can do.

“For me, I just think it’s wrong. If you decide to put a national shirt on at any age group - this is my personal opinion - you should not be allowed to chop and change and go and play for another nation.”

It was a double whammy for Ireland, who also saw the exact same thing happen with Manchester City star Jack Grealish.

He too played for Ireland's youth sides but then committed himself to England.

Topics: Declan Rice, Republic of Ireland, England, Euro 2021

Josh Lawless
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