Declan Rice has announced his decision to play international football for England.
In a statement on Twitter, the West Ham star said he has phoned Mick McCarthy and Gareth Southgate to tell them he has submitted a written request to FIFA to transfer his international registration from Ireland to England.
Rice said it had been “an extremely difficult decision” and “not on I ever expected to be making at this stage of my career”.
“Like so many people around the world, I consider myself to be of mixed nationality,” Rice said.
“I am a proud Englishman, having been born and raised in London. However, I am just as proud of my family’s Irish heritage and my affinity and connection with the country.
“I have equal respect and love for both England and Ireland and therefore the national team I choose to represent is not a clear-cut, simple selection. Particularly not for a young lad who never dreamed of being in this position.
“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.”
In a statement from the FAI, Mick McCarthy said: “Declan rang me today and said he has decided to give it a go with England. Good luck to him.”
Rice played three senior international games for Ireland in 2018 having previously represented Ireland at underage level.
More to follow…