Belfast Telegraph

James McClean joins Declan Rice debate over international switch

James McClean has taken to social media to join the debate over Declan Rice's potential international switch.

The West Ham defender has been left out of Martin O'Neill's latest Republic of Ireland squad, being given time to consider a move to his country of birth.

London-born Rice has three senior caps for RoI but they all came in friendly matches, meaning the 19-year-old could yet decide to represent England instead.

"He (Rice) is still deliberating," said O'Neill. "He is a young man. England have spoken to him. He is taking time to make his mind up. He has done brilliantly for us. I'm giving him a little bit of time."

After O'Neill's press conference, former Irish international Kevin Kilbane tweeted to say he would rather see the nation slip to 150th in the world rankings than give caps to players who need to consider their future.

Current international McClean, who has earned 60 caps since switching from Northern Ireland in 2011, replied to the tweet on Monday evening:

McClean, who has played alongside Rice in all three of the teenager's caps, has started all five of Stoke City's Championship matches since his summer move, scoring once.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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