By 90Min
August 29, 2018

Former Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle believes West Ham star Declan Rice has "burned his bridges" after his decision to consider his international future.

The 19-year-old defender has made three friendly appearances for Ireland this year but was left out of Martin O'Neill's squad for their upcoming Nations League match against Wales and the friendly versus Poland.


O'Neill revealed the West Ham star had been left out of the squad because he is still deliberating over his international future, having been in contact with England.

Doyle told RTE: “I don’t think there’s a way back. Once you make the decision that you’re ‘thinking about it’, I think you’re saying you’re not coming back. If he does I’d be very surprised.

“If he does change his mind and say ‘yeah I want to play for you’, if he misses out through injury or has a bad performance, everyone will say ‘well he wanted to play for England anyway, he doesn’t care’.

“Different lads have said ‘give him time to think about it, he’s young.’ He’s 19, he’s played in the Premier League for a year, three times in the summer he’s played for Ireland, that was the time to think.

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“I don’t blame him, if he wants to play for England. If he feels English then fair enough but I wouldn’t be pandering now. He’s made his decision and I’d say ‘fair enough, we’re moving on’.

“He’s taken someone else’s place in the summer. Martin O’Neill is planning to play him, he’s played in midfield in those three friendlies in the summer when we could have used someone else.”

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Rice qualifies to represent Ireland through his grandparents, who were born in Cork, and represented Ireland throughout youth level, from Under-16 to Under-21 squads.

Rice qualifies to represent Ireland through his grandparents, who were born in Cork, and represented Ireland throughout youth level, from Under-16 to Under-21 squads.

His decision has sparked significant anger from current and former Republic of Ireland internationals.

Kevin Kilbane, who made 110 appearances for his country, expressed his frustration of Rice's indecision on social media.


He tweeted: "I'd rather be ranked 150th in the world and never qualify again than have someone who has played, but needs time to THINK whether they should play for us again."

Current Republic of Ireland star James McClean also hit out at Rice, stating that he believed "representing your country should be an honour and a proud moment".

It remains to be seen what decision Rice makes, however Doyle, who won 64 caps in his career, certainly believes that the youngsters actions may mean that there is no way back into the Irish setup for him now.

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