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Michael Keane tells Declan Rice: Let your gut decide International future

Michael Keane has told Declan Rice to listen to his gut when making the final decision about where his international future lies.

West Ham defensive midfielder Rice is at the centre of an international tug-of-war between the Republic and Ireland and England, having represented the ROI at all age groups, including the senior team, where he has made three appearances.

However, all those appearances have come in friendly games, meaning that the London born star still has the opportunity to switch allegiances to the country of his birth if he so wishes.

Having faced the same dilemma a number of years ago, Everton defender Michael Keane has told Rice to listen to his gut instinct, and play for the country where he will feel most proud.

“I would say just go with your gut,” he told the media at St Georges Park on Tuesday.

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“At the end of the day international football is great to play but I think you get more pride out of playing for the country you really want to play for.

“That isn’t to say I didn’t want to play for Ireland but my heart is more in England.

“All my family are in England – my dad moved over when he was nine-years-old so we don’t have much Irish family.

“I always wanted to play for England so I would say just speak to your family. It is not just about getting the experience at a young age, you have to enjoy representing the country you play for.”

Keane, who came through the ranks at Manchester United, was born in Stockport, Manchester, but played for Ireland at both U17 and U19 level, before switching to England where he has progressed to be a full international.

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