Declan Rice played in Republic of Ireland friendlies against Turkey, France and the United States last year

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has pledged his international future to England.

Rice, 20, has won three senior Republic of Ireland caps, all in friendlies, having played for his grandparents’ country since under-16 level.

In August the Londoner said he needed time to decide his future, as winning a competitive cap for the Republic would have tied him to the country.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision,” he said.

Rice, who has made 59 appearances for West Ham, has excelled this season in a defensive midfield role for the Hammers.

In a long statement on Twitter, he said: “I consider myself to be of mixed nationality. I have equal respect for both England and Ireland and therefore the national team I choose to represent is not a clear-cut, simple selection.

“Ultimately, it is a personal decision I have made with my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future.

“I would also like to make it clear that, in requesting to transfer my national team representation, I am not taking for granted a call-up to the England squad.”

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy said: “Declan rang me today and said he has decided to give it a go with England. Good luck to him.”

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