Monday 15 July 2019

'You can't blame him' - Tony Cascarino expects Declan Rice to choose England as FAI send birthday wishes to 'Ireland international'

West Ham's Declan Rice. REUTERS/David Klein
West Ham's Declan Rice. REUTERS/David Klein
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino expects Declan Rice to choose to play international football while recent social media activity suggests the West Ham star will remain with the Republic of Ireland.

Rice dropped a bombshell on previous manager Martin O'Neill by making himself unavailable for the Nations League game against Wales in September after meeting with England boss Gareth Southgate over the summer.

Despite representing Ireland from U-16 to U-21 level, and winning three caps in friendlies earlier this year, the Londoner has left open the option of switching by avoiding a competitive outing.

A decision from Rice is believed to be imminent.

Writing in his column in the Times, Cascarino said he believes Rice is good enough to play for England and the prospect of competing for trophies with Southgate's men could be the deciding factor.

“Declan Rice is getting better and better," he said.

“He was brilliant against Arsenal and it raised the question once again of who he chooses between Ireland and England.

“It’s almost going to be like a club transfer when it comes down to his final choice.

“Will he want to win things or just settle for being the best player in a mediocre team?

“For that reason I believe he’s going to declare for England.

“He’s good enough to get in and he’ll want to challenge for trophies. You can’t blame him.”

Rice turns 20 today and the FAI wished the 'Ireland international' a happy birthday on their social media platforms.

Rice also liked a picture of himself on Instagram with the caption "future Irish captain".

rice.jpg

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