Former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane reacts angrily to Declan Rice’s switch of allegiance to England

Former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane reacts angrily to Declan Rice's switch of allegiance to England

Former Republic of Ireland international and TV pundit Kevin Kilbane says Declan Rice’s decision to switch his allegiance to England “makes a mockery” of international football.

The 20-year-old, whose grandparents hail from Cork, won three Irish caps last year but is now in line for a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for next month’s European Championship qualifiers after releasing a statement confirming his decision.

But the Preston-born Kilbane, who won 110 caps for the Republic after turning down a call-up to England Under-18s, has criticised Rice for accepting his initial international call-up.

“If you’re a ‘proud Englishman’ then why play for us in the first place?,” Kilbane said on Virgin Media Sport while on duty as a pundit on Wednesday night. “I can’t understand his decision to play for us in the first place.

“The line that stands out for me is, ‘I’m a proud Engishman’ if you’re a proud Englishman, don’t come and play for us.

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