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West Ham United

Southgate defends Rice switch

14th March 2019, 06:45 by Michael Holland

Gareth Southgate has jumped to the defence of Declan Rice following his call up to the England squad.

The 20-year-old appeared for the Republic of Ireland's youth teams and won three senior caps, but FIFA last week ratified his switch to England as those three appearances came in friendlies.

The switch has not gone down well in some quarters with one or two former Republic players venting their anger. However, Southgate says unless you have walked in his shoes, it is unfair to criticise.

“I think it’s easy to be vocal when you haven’t walked in those shoes,” the England boss said. “I think he spoke really eloquently about being somebody of dual heritage and what that means.

“For me it was easy, I could only play for England, so there was no question in my mind. And for lots of people that commented, that was the same.

“There were others who have commented, despite the fact that they didn’t play for the country of their birth, so they’ve benefited from some of the rules that are there.”

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.

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