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Ireland striker Callum Robinson calls for international rule change to avoid repeat of Declan Rice saga

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Callum Robinson at the EA Sports FIFA 20 World Premiere, which is released on September 27

Callum Robinson at the EA Sports FIFA 20 World Premiere, which is released on September 27

Callum Robinson at the EA Sports FIFA 20 World Premiere, which is released on September 27

Ireland striker Callum Robinson believes any player who represents an international team at senior level should be tied to that country for the rest of his career, even if their first cap comes in a friendly match.

English-born Robinson represented the country of his birth at underage level, but opted to switch to Ireland last year after qualifying through his Monaghan-born grandmother.

Speaking exclusively to Independent.ie at the FIFA 20 World Premiere in London, the Sheffield United striker who started the Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium earlier this month made his feelings known on players who switch allegiances after playing at senior level.

"I think there is a strong case to say that if you play a senior international, that should be the decision made, whether it is a friendly or a competitive game," Northampton-born Robinson told us.

"Personally, when the call came from Ireland, it felt like the natural choice for me and I jumped at it, but I understand it is not like that for everyone.

"I've always had Irish players around me in my time at Aston Villa and Preston and it was an easy decision when the chance came to play for Ireland.

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TWO HAPPY: Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates with Ireland’s Callum Robinson. Pic: Reuters

TWO HAPPY: Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates with Ireland’s Callum Robinson. Pic: Reuters

REUTERS

TWO HAPPY: Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates with Ireland’s Callum Robinson. Pic: Reuters

"Pulling on that green jersey and hearing the national anthem is just an amazing experience and I'll always be honoured to get a chance to play for my country.

"To see my name on the team-sheet for the qualifier against Switzerland and to be part of such a special atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium is one of the best moments of my career and hopefully there is a lot more to come with Ireland."

West Ham's London-born midfielder Declan Rice walked away from an Ireland career after playing three senior internationals in 2018 and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish following a similar path as he opted to declare for England despite representing Ireland at underage level, with Robinson insisting that scenario should not be allowed to happen in the future.

"Dec is a great lad and obviously he had a decision to make and went with England," adds Robinson. "He needed to go away for a while and think about what was best for him and unfortunately, that decision went against Ireland.

"We have all moved on from that and there are some fantastic players in the Ireland squad now. The results have gone well so far under Mick McCarthy and now we need to find a couple more wins and we could qualify for the Euros, which would be a fantastic achievement.

"It feels like everything is very positive around the Ireland squad again and it is great to be a part of that."

Callum Robinson was speaking at the FIFA 20 World Premiere. EA SPORTS FIFA 20, featuring VOLTA FOOTBALL, is out on September 27 for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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Callum Robinson, right, was injured on Thursday evening (Brian Lawless/PA)

Callum Robinson, right, was injured on Thursday evening (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Callum Robinson, right, was injured on Thursday evening (Brian Lawless/PA)

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