Declan Rice: James McClean tells England star to ‘sod off’ after decision to snub Republic of Ireland

James McClean has told any other Irish player tempted to follow Declan Rice into the England squad to “sod off and play for someone else”.

Derry-born McClean played under-21 football for Northern Ireland but opted to represent the Republic at senior level, where he played alongside Rice until the West Ham midfielder switched allegiance.

Asked about Rice, McClean said: “He said he was a proud Irishman. Then he said he was a proud Englishman.

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“If he’s both… good luck to him but I don’t buy it. I think you’re either one or the other.

“I was with Derry City when I got the call-up to play for the North, and I turned it down because it’s not my country, it’s never been my country. I’m an Irishman.


Player ratings from Montenegro vs England





1/11 Jordan Henderson

2/11 Kyle Walker

3/11 Michael Keane

4/11 Harry Maguire

5/11 Danny Rose

6/11 Declan Rice

7/11 Ross Barkley

8/11 Dele Alli

9/11 Raheem Sterling

10/11 Callum Hudson-Odoi

11/11 Harry Kane

1/11 Jordan Henderson

2/11 Kyle Walker

3/11 Michael Keane

4/11 Harry Maguire

5/11 Danny Rose

6/11 Declan Rice

7/11 Ross Barkley

8/11 Dele Alli

9/11 Raheem Sterling

10/11 Callum Hudson-Odoi

11/11 Harry Kane

“It’s not just Declan, it’s anyone else. If you’re not proud to be here and we’re a stepping stone, then sod off and play for someone else.

“I’m an Irishman. I grew up on the island of Ireland, simple as that. We only want players here who want to play for Ireland, who feel Irish and are proud to be Irish.”

Rice, who played in three friendlies for Ireland, came on as a substitute for England in their 5-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over the Czech Republic and made his full debut in Monday night’s 5-1 win in Montenegro.

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