Declan Rice: England choice 'toughest decision I have had to make so far'

Declan Rice: England choice 'toughest decision I have had to make so far'

Declan Rice has said his decision to declare for England was the "toughest" of his career to date.

The West Ham star announced his decision to play international football for England last month despite having lined out for Ireland in three senior international friendlies.

Rice said at the time that his decision to switch allegiances was "a personal decision that I have made with my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future."

Declan Rice: England choice 'toughest decision I have had to make so far'

The 20-year-old picked up the Young Player of the Year gong at the London Football Awards last night and he spoke publically about his decision to play for England for the first time.

"It is the toughest decision I have had to make so far in my career," Rice said, speaking to Sky Sports News.

"Being so young, I didn't think I would ever be in a position to make that call but it's one that I have made and one that I am looking forward to in the future."

Last week, Ireland boss Mick McCarthy said he had "known for two months" that Rice would declare for England.

"I'd known for two months that he wasn't joining us - all I needed was it confirming," McCarthy said. "You might say 'How did I know that?' I just got a feeling, having met and spoken to him. All he had to do was say 'yeah, I'm staying with you guys, I'm playing'.

“Once he hadn't done that I was very doubtful but I was not going to say that, I wasn't going to put words in his mouth and I wasn't going to leave it open for anyone to say I had driven him away because I hadn't, that's for sure. So I just continued to wait for an answer. But when he told me, I'd known for a couple of months.”

Rice has enjoyed a successful spell with the Hammers since Manuel Pellegrini took charge this year, making 25 appearances so far this season.

"I am loving it, I am really enjoying it," Rice told Sky Sports News about his season so far.

"Last year was tough because I was in and out of the side and the start of this season was tough.

"I am playing with a smile on my face, which is the main thing."

More on this topic

Sport Ireland not certain FAI is solvent, says TreacySport Ireland not certain FAI is solvent, says Treacy

Sport Ireland officials want new FAI boardSport Ireland officials want new FAI board

Sport Ireland supports Minister's call for Conway not to seek FAI re-electionSport Ireland supports Minister's call for Conway not to seek FAI re-election

Sport Ireland add to calls for Donal Conway to withdraw nomination for FAI PresidentSport Ireland add to calls for Donal Conway to withdraw nomination for FAI President

More in this Section

Eoin Morgan set to lead Dublin Chiefs in new Euro T20 Slam competitionEoin Morgan set to lead Dublin Chiefs in new Euro T20 Slam competition

Liverpool Women pass time during pre-season weather delay with bucket challengeLiverpool Women pass time during pre-season weather delay with bucket challenge

Shamrock Rovers likely to face UEFA sanctions following last nights pitch invasionShamrock Rovers likely to face UEFA sanctions following last nights pitch invasion

Bruce ignored Shearer advice in accepting Newcastle jobBruce ignored Shearer advice in accepting Newcastle job


Lifestyle

Ever wondered what it would be like to move lock, stock and barrel into a tiny home, like the ones on Netflix’s Tiny House Nation?Are you ready to join the tiny-house movement?

A continence expert from the children’s bowel and bladder charity ERIC gives advice on how parents can help stop older children bed-wetting.Ask an expert: How can I help my child stop wetting the bed?

A quick spritz can make all the difference to your complexion, says Katie Wright.What a difference a spray makes: 9 of the best facial mists for every skin type

Athlete and mum-of-two Jo Pavey has teamed up with a childcare expert and Simplyhealth to inspire families to embrace active fun. By Lisa Salmon.9 ways to keep kids entertained and active this summer

More From The Irish Examiner