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Saturday 19
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West Ham United

McCarthy hoping for Rice call

24th December 2018, 11:32 by Jack Ogalbe

Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy says West Ham's Declan Rice could earn 100 caps if he chooses to play for Emerald Isle.

Rice has three caps for the country of his grandparents but with all of those coming in non-competitive games, he can still switch allegiances.

England boss Gareth Southgate is thought to have contacted the 19-year-old but reports in the Irish press on Friday suggested he had made up his mind.

McCarthy was recently appointed as the Republic's boss for a second time, and, after meeting with the youngster, says that after trying to sign him while at Ipswich, the Hammers midfielder would become a key cog in his machine.

"I had a really good meeting with Declan," McCarthy told Sky Sports. "Robbie (Keane) was there and so was Declan's father Sean and it's up to Declan as to when he wants to decide. That's how I left it.

"We start our qualifiers in March against Gibraltar and Georgia. I need to know by then - that's my deadline.

"Declan is a really talented player and he's a lovely lad. It's everything about him that you want him to play for us. I'd build my team around Declan and he could be our future captain. Becoming a player with 100 caps would give him a nice profile."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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