Declan Rice declares for England national team
The West Ham player released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Declan Rice has announced that he will play his international football for England, rather than the Republic of Ireland.
The 20-year-old played a number of friendlies for Ireland, but was yet to play a competitive game, meaning he could declare for England.
He announced the news through a statement on his Twitter page on Wednesday.
In the statement, he said that he has "equal love for both England and Ireland", which is why it taken him months to make the decision.
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 international representation.
"However, I hope that people can understand that I have made this decision with honesty, integrity and the full support of my family."
You can read the statement in full here:
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) February 13, 2019
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy spoke about the news in a press conference, saying: "Declan rang me today and said he has decided to give it a go with England. Good luck to him."
The FAI also released a brief statement, which you can read here.