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England vs Czech Republic: Danny Rose sympathises with Declan Rice’s difficult decision

Mark Mann-Bryans
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Declan Rice apologises for old pro-IRA comment made on social media

Danny Rose welcomed Declan Rice into the England senior squad earlier this week having previously faced his own decision on which nation he wanted to represent.

West Ham midfielder Rice made three friendly appearances for the Republic of Ireland before FIFA ratified his request to switch allegiances and play for the Three Lions.

He was called up by Gareth Southgate at the first opportunity and could make his debut in the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Rose, 28, did not make his own England debut until March 2016 before then-manager Roy Hodgson picked him in his squad for the European Championships.

But things could have been different for the Tottenham full-back and had he been overlooked that summer, he may have turned out for Jamaica at the 2016 Copa America instead.

“I could have played for Jamaica,” he said.

“Both sets of grandparents are Jamaican, it was only a conversation really. Yes, I did think about it because obviously at one point I didn’t think I would get a chance to play for England.

“I wasn’t involved until I was 26 and for me that was a bit late because I had been playing regularly since I was 21.

“There was a point where I didn’t think I was going to play for England. It was only a conversation, there was no deep thought in it – had I not gone to the Euros that year then I don’t know, it might have been different.”

Rose has since gone on to win 25 caps but admits he would have found it more difficult to come into the squad at a younger age – with 20-year-old Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi, 18, the latest youngsters to be called up.

Danny Rose in training at St George’s Park (AFP/Getty)

“It is brilliant Declan is here,” added Rose.

“I have watched him and West Ham many times this season and he is such a good player. I met him for the first time on Monday and he was really friendly and seems like a proper nice lad.

“Obviously I remember when I first came. I was a bit older than the likes of Trent [Alexander-Arnold], [Ben] Chilwell and Jadon [Sancho] – I didn’t make my debut until I was 25 or 26.

“I can’t imagine what I would have been like coming in as a 19 or 20-year-old, it would have been daunting but the manager and staff have created an atmosphere here.

“It is relaxed and not intense and everyone mingles with everyone else, we will take it upon ourselves to make people feel welcome.”

PA