Declan Rice switches allegiance to England from Ireland

West Ham defensive midfielder Declan Rice picked England over Ireland, which he has represented previously and was eligible for through his paternal grandparents.

Between 2015 and 2018, he represented the Republic of Ireland at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, playing 20 times in total.

The 20-year-old added that he had reached this conclusion after discussions with those two worldwide managers, with the former Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and with his family and friends.

In recent weeks and months, I have discussed the situation with the people who mean the most to me. I have also spoken to Martin O'Neill and Mick McCarthy, Gareth Southgate and to friends and colleagues within the game whose opinion I respect. "I am truly grateful for the support I have received leading to this decision".

Ireland coach Mick McCarthy and England counterpart Gareth Southgate were also consulted before being informed Wednesday that a request was made to Federation Internationale de Football Association to switch his global registration. I am a proud Englishman, having been born and raised in London.

Ultimately, it is a personal decision that I have made with my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future.

He also addressed the Irish fans in the statement, saying: "I fully accept that some Irish supporters will be disappointed by my decision, and that everyone has different opinions in regard to the rules around global representation". It was a great honour for myself and my family, and something I will always cherish.

Declan Rice has made a decision on his worldwide future.

'Good luck to him'.

With England, Rice - if selected - has more prospect of qualifying for tournaments.