Jason McAteer has blamed his long-time foe Roy Keane for Declan Rice's expected decision to declare for England.
According to McAteer, Rice witnessed the fight between the Republic of Ireland assistant manager and injured duo Harry Arter and Jon Walters during a training camp this summer.
It's claimed that experience put Rice off continuing his Ireland career and let to a U-turn over his international allegiance.
"There was an incident with Harry Arter and Jonathan Walters and he [Declan Rice] was privy to that situation. My understanding is he was put off by the whole experience," said McAteer on beIN Sports.
"It's disappointing because players should be looking at Roy Keane and being inspired by him.
"But that's not Roy's way. He questions players and asks big questions.
"I was surprised when John Delaney decided to take Roy on. I never thought he would get the opportunity because the country is still split over how they take Roy [after Saipan].
"It's very difficult for Martin and Roy at the minute. Results aren't going well, the talent just isn't coming through, it's an uphill battle and it's getting harder and harder.
"The thing is they've signed new deals and it'd cost a lot of money to pay them up and get them out.
"It's a big call for the FAI."