Rice to dis­cuss in­ter­na­tional fu­ture with McCarthy

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer - MICHAEL WALKER in New­cas­tle

De­clan Rice has said he will dis­cuss his in­ter­na­tional fu­ture with Mick McCarthy, of­fer­ing the FAI a glim­mer of hope that the London-born teenager capped three times by the Repub­lic of Ire­land will not switch to play for Eng­land.

Speak­ing af­ter giv­ing an­other ma­ture mid­field per­for­mance for West Ham United at New­cas­tle on Satur­day, Rice said he would be train­ing yes­ter­day morn­ing and check­ing the Euro 2020 draw after­wards.

There is no date ar­ranged to meet with McCarthy but it is ex­pected to be soon. McCarthy has al­ready had a con­ver­sa­tion with Rice’s fa­ther, Sean. Eng­land man­ager Gareth South­gate has talked to Rice.

“Mick has spo­ken to my dad and I think Mick said he wants to meet me and my dad, which I said was fine,” Rice ex­plained.

‘Noth­ing’s planned’

“I haven’t spo­ken to Mick my­self yet, but [I’m] go­ing to speak to Mick.

“Noth­ing’s planned, I haven’t spo­ken to Mick yet, just my dad [has]. My dad’s away at the mo­ment.”

Given the Euro 2020 qual­i­fiers be­gin in March, it would be sur­pris­ing if there is not a de­ci­sion from Rice be­fore then, al­though he said it was just one of a few is­sues he is fac­ing.

‘There are a lot of things go­ing on with my foot­ball at the mo­ment,” Rice added. “I’m play­ing here week in, week out and ob­vi­ously there’s my con­tract sit­u­a­tion, which is a lot to take on at a young age.

“Ob­vi­ously the Eng­land-Ire­land sit­u­a­tion is a lot to take on. To be hon­est, I’m just fo­cused on play­ing for West Ham and I said that to Martin O’Neill, when I was play­ing and, ob­vi­ously, now he’s gone. He to­tally un­der­stood and re­spected that.”

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