Former England manager says Declan Rice should have been made play for Ireland

Declan Rice ireland

This article was originally published on June 8th 2022.

“It’s wrong…”

Former England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce says that Declan Rice should have been made continue play for Ireland after appearing in the green jersey three times.

Rice played for Ireland’s youth teams, before making three senior appearances, and then making the switch to England.

The majority of Irish fans are over the Rice saga, but Pearce feels as though the rules in international football should change to stop this happening again.

In fact, Pearce believes that once a player has even played for a country’s youth team, that is then the only nation they can represent at international level.

Stuart Pearce on Declan Rice and Ireland

He said: “One thing I disagree with, and I think a ruling should be made – as soon as you wear a national shirt for a country, you cannot change allegiance. Even in the youth ranks. Especially in the youth ranks. That turns into club football.”

When asked whether Rice should have been made keep playing for Ireland, Pearce said made it clear that he felt that would have been right.

“It’s not a statement about Declan, they were the rules at the time… When we played against Germany in a major finals, their left-back turned up playing for the Canadians a month or so later.

“When you decide to put a national shirt on at any age group, you should not be able to chop, change and play for another nation. It’s wrong!”

“It’s wrong! You should not be able to chop, change and play for another nation.”

Declan Rice for Ireland

While it is the case that Ireland have for the most part moved on from Rice, he would certainly make a major difference in the current struggling Ireland team.

The difference he and Jack Grealish could make into Stephen Kenny’s midfield could be what would take the country to the next level.

Read next: Gareth Southgate suggests that Jack Grealish needs to improve tactically

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