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Rice reveals he's 'proud and honoured' to get England call up

16 March 2019

"When you're picking a squad, there's got to be an element of what the players are doing with their clubs and what they have done with us".

Southgate has named a 25-man squad for the Euro 2020 double-header, with West Ham midfielder Rice, as expected, the headline inclusion.

Rice was born and raised in Kingston-upon-Thames, just outside of London, although the fact his mother's parents are from the Republic of Ireland meant he was also eligible to play for the Republic and he made three appearances for them before deciding to switch allegiance to England in February.

West Ham United midfielder and FAI Young Player of the Year Declan Rice is the only uncapped player called up to the squad after a season which has seen him impress hugely in Manuel Pellegrini's midfield.

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"It's increasingly the case, if you look at our under 16s over 50 percent of them have dual nationality and some could play for more than two countries", he said. But his form has been excellent.

"When you are asking a player to transfer allegiance, they have to feel they have a future, but also there are no guarantees". We like what we've seen in terms of his personality, his character and his leadership qualities.

Rice's impressive form for West Ham in the Premier League this season has now earned him a place in Gareth Southgate's squad for the first time. "He will fit in very well with the way that we work".

None of those matches were competitive fixtures, however, and Gareth Southgate has opted to pick the English-born 20-year-old in his squad for the game against the Czechs at Wembley on March 22 and the trip to Montenegro three days later.

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On Ward-Prowse: "We prove Prowsey - this recent spell is his best since we capped him and he's a world-class set-piece taker, but he's only recently got back in the Southampton team".

"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".

The Football Association of Ireland announced Tuesday that Rice was the country's young player of the year, saying he would still receive the award because it "maintains the integrity of the voting process".

"Jordan has played extremely well for us", Southgate added.

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"We have always tried to look at that as ethically as we can".

Rice reveals he's 'proud and honoured' to get England call up