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Declan Rice to submit request to switch to England from Republic of Ireland

Southampton FC v West Ham United - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Declan Rice of West Ham United celebrates after Felipe Anderson of West Ham United scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and West Ham United at St Mary’s Stadium on December 27, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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West Ham United defensive midfielder Declan Rice has made a decision on his international future, saying it was very difficult but his “heart and his head” say to file a one-time switch to represent England over the Republic of Ireland.

The 20-year-old was capped thrice for the Republic of Ireland, but his rise to a fixture under two managers at West Ham catapulted the possibilities of his representing the country of his birth, England.

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He was capped by Ireland at the U-16, U-17, U-19, and U-21 levels by Ireland before playing the full-90 for the senior team in a trio of 2018 friendlies against France, Turkey, and the U.S.

“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.”

Read the full statement below. It’s a hammer blow to what could’ve been a decade-long answer to Ireland’s midfield, and a risk for Rice. That said, his promise is nearly immeasurable.

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