Rice yet to de­cide on his in­ter­na­tional fu­ture

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER -

De­clan Rice has said choos­ing be­tween the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land and Eng­land is “one of the hard­est de­ci­sions I will have to make in my ca­reer.”

Speak­ing to the Times (UK) the West Ham United mid­fielder has con­firmed he is yet to de­cide on his in­ter­na­tional fu­ture, de­spite re­cent re­ports claim­ing he had com­mit­ted to Gareth South­gate’s Eng­land.

Nine­teen-year-old Rice has met with both South­gate and Ire­land man­ager Martin O’Neill, but has asked for more time be­fore mak­ing his mind up.

He said: “With­out a doubt, it is not an easy de­ci­sion. It is one of the hard­est I will have to make in my ca­reer.

‘Ex­cel­lent’

“Martin [O’Neill] was ex­cel­lent when he came to my house and Gareth was ex­cel­lent and they both un­der­stand the po­si­tion I am in. I said I just need some time.

“I need to make the right de­ci­sion, what is best for me and my fam­ily. Be­ing 19, I never thought I would be in a po­si­tion to make such a hard de­ci­sion.”

Ear­lier this week O’Neill said the idea he should have capped Rice in a com­pet­i­tive fix­ture in or­der to tie him to the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land was “kind of crazy.”

Rice – now a fix­ture in the West Ham United side af­ter mak­ing his break­through un­der for­mer man­aner David Moyes last sea­son – has played for the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in three friendly fix­tures but not in a com­pet­i­tive match.

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