Did Declan Rice make the right call choosing England?

🌟 Bet £5 & get £30 in bonuses! 🌟
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus

England's newest lion

On Wednesday afternoon, West Ham United youngster Declan Rice finally made his decision regarding his international future, pledging allegiance to England over Ireland.

Rice, 20, has already earned three caps for the Boys in Green, all of which came in friendlies under previous manager Martin O’Neill, meaning he was still eligible to switch to the country of his birth before playing a competitive game.

His impressive performances have lead to interest from the FA about him coming to play for the Three Lions, with Gareth Southgate a keen admirer of Rice and has been to watch him play this season.

After hearing of England’s interest, a decision was then there to be made and the player took his time before eventually making his selection. Rice’s call hasn’t been received too well by those in Ireland, particularly from former internationals who have reacted pretty angrily to his decision to commit to England despite already playing for Ireland, namely Kevin Kilbane.

"If you’re a 'proud Englishman' then why play for us in the first place?," Kilbane said on Wednesday night.

"I can't understand his decision to play for us in the first place."The line that stands out for me is, 'I'm a proud Englishman' if you're a proud Englishman, don't come and play for us.

"It's been dragged on now for five-six months since he decided against taking the call-up for the Nations League. It was done then. I wouldn't have taken the decision to call him up again. He'd had his head turned. It was done."

Was it the right call?

Whichever side of the fence he sat on, Rice was going to face criticism from some quarters and must’ve been prepared for the backlash that was always set to come his way in the aftermath of announcing it.

It feels like Kilbane is throwing stones in a glass house to question the decision for an English-born player to play for Ireland, with plenty of players over the years switching to play for them after being unable to break into the England squad.

Kilbane himself was born in Preston, while the likes of Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Harry Arter, Callum Robinson and Scott Hogan, all members of their most recent squad, were born in England.From a football standpoint, the 20-year-old could’ve virtually guaranteed himself 100 caps for the Irish national team, perhaps becoming captain along the way after being touted as their brightest young prospect.

Yet the current state of Irish football isn’t particularly promising, with the team finishing bottom of their Nations League group featuring Denmark and Wales, while also failing to score in each of their last four internationals. Now they have brought back Mick McCarthy as manager for a second stint, who will oversee their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and potentially tournament appearance before Stephen Kenny takes over.

There is something of an identity crisis with the Irish team at this moment in time, with things ultimately going stale at the end of Martin O’Neill’s time in charge of the national side alongside Roy Keane.

On the face of it there is also a lack of quality in the Ireland team, with just 10 of their most recent 23-man squad playing in the Premier League. The majority of players are based in the Championship or lower, with captain Seamus Coleman being their best player at this moment in time.

Irish fans and players will certainly be disappointed with the decision, but given the current state of affairs with the national team it's no real surprise that Rice has decided to switch allegiances whilst the rules allow for him to do so.

Declan Rice

Exciting future

As for England, there is a real buzz and interest about the national team once again following their efforts at the 2018 World Cup. A squad with exciting players such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and John Stones is being built, while there are plenty of exciting youth prospects coming through as well.

Jadon Sancho is the pick of the bunch having already established himself in the senior squad, while the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Ben Chilwell and Harry Winks have all featured under Southgate since the World Cup. Add to that uncapped young talents including Ryan Sessegnon, Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi and there is real reason to be optimistic about England’s future.

Rice can certainly be a part of that, having shown an abundance of ability and potential for West Ham this season, establishing himself at the heart of their midfield. However, its yet to be seen whether he ultimately becomes known as a midfielder or centre-back throughout his senior career, though his versatility will certainly aid him at international level.

Sancho-England

What Rice will also have considered is the current lack of top defensive midfield options available to Southgate, who predominantly used Jordan Henderson in that role during the World Cup. He also has Eric Dier and Winks for that role, whilst also giving Nathaniel Chalobah his first cap against Spain, but it is a position that is certainly up for grabs for any player that can make it their own.

If he develops into a centre-back then that too is a role where he can strengthen England’s options, which aren’t particularly strong outside of Stones, Gomez and Harry Maguire.

Barring injury and a dramatic loss of form, Rice certainly has the ability to establish himself as a regular figure in the England setup and is betting on himself to do so. He easily could’ve stuck with Ireland and remained an ever present in their squad, but this decision represents the ambition he has in his career.

West Ham will just be hoping that they too can match his ambition at club level and keep him in claret and blue for the foreseeable future.


BET £5 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS + 40 FREE SPINS!!!! 😍😍😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. 40 FREE SPINS AT £0.10 PER SPIN. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS EXCLUDE VIRTUALS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. GAME AND ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. 7 DAY FREE SPIN EXPIRY. FREE SPINS WILL AUTOPLAY ON FIRST ELIGIBLE GAME LOADED. FURTHER T&CS APPLY 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG.
Claim Bonus
GET £20 IN RISK FREE BETS!!!! ✅
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
♥️ Deposit £10 with code FORTY and get £40 free play as cash & Spin & Go tickets! ♥️
New PokerStars players only. Min. deposit £10 with Bonus Code 'FORTY'. Free Play given as cash and Spin & Go tickets over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Restrictions may apply to bonus (excludes withdrawal of bonus winnings). T&C's Apply
Claim Bonus
🎯 BET £10 AND GET UP TO £30 IN FREE BETS! 🎯
New users only. Place qual bets of £10 (min odds 1/2, 2+ legs) in 1st 7 days to unlock. Awarded as 3 x £10 free bet. Min odds 1/1 3+ legs, + 7 day expiry. Winnings in cash. Full T&Cs Apply).
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £10 ON ANY SPORT & GET £20 IN FREE BETS 🔥
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £20 free bets valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. begambleaware.org.
Claim Bonus
🤩 Bet £10 & get £20 in FREE BETS 🤩
New customers only, min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from Debit card only. Paypal not accepted. Min odds evens (1/5 per multi selection). 2x £10 Free Bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no cash out. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏇🏼 BET £10 ON ANY RACE TODAY & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! 🏇🏼
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus

🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
GET A £20 FREE BET WHEN YOU BET £20 ON ANY SPORT!!!! 😍😍😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. STRICTLY 18+. MINIMUM DEPOSIT £20. PLACE ANY £20 SPORTSBOOK BET AT MINIMUM ODDS OF 2.0(EVENS) TO RECEIEVE YOUR FREE £20 BET. YOUR £20 FREE BET MUST BE WAGERED TWICE (X2) AT MINIMUM ODDS OF 2.0(EVENS) BEFORE IT BECOMES CASH. IF YOUR FIRST £20 BET WINS, YOU HAVE TO BET £20 AGAIN TWICE AT MIN ODDS OF 2.0(EVENS) OR HIGHER TO TURN THE £20 FREE BET IN TO CASH. BUT YOU DO WIN CASH ON YOUR FIRST BET IF IT WINS - IT'S THE £20 BONUS THAT IS LOCKED UNTIL MINIMUM WAGERING REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
Open account offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! 🙌🙌🙌
New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & get £30 in bonuses! 🌟
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
💎 BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS 💎
18+. Play Safe. When you sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Claim Bonus