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Hughton: Only Declan Rice can decide international future

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has said that Declan Rice is the only person who can make the decision about where his international allegiances lie.

West Ham defensive-midfielder Rice is currently in the middle of an international tug of war between the Republic of Ireland and England after his impressive performances for the Hammers. While has already received three Irish caps, they all came in friendly matches, meaning he is still able to play for England, something which he is still considering.

While plenty of people have had their say on the situation, current Brighton boss Chris Hughton – who faced a similar decision during his playing days having been born in England to a Ghanaian father and Irish mother – has said that Rice is the only one who can make the decision.

“I would always sympathise with the situation,” said Hughton in a press conference as he prepares his Brighton side to face West Ham this weekend.

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“There isn’t anybody really that can make that decision for him.”

Rice, who is eligible to play for the Republic due to his Irish grandparents, but is absent from the latest squad for their UEFA Nations League fixtures against Denmark and Wales this month.

Hughton ultimately decided to play for the Green Army where he made 53 appearances, but has advised the 19-year-old to make the decision that is right for him and not to be swayed by outside influences.

“What can happen is that close people around you, your family, the club, can try and guide him but everybody has different situations,” said Hughton.

“It’s only him who can make those decisions and I’m sure that whatever he does will be the right decision for him.”

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