England squad: Declan Rice earns first call-up for Euro 2020 qualifiers

Rice handed first England call-up after switch from Ireland

Bournemouth midfielder Brooks, then a Sheffield United player, was part of the England Young Lions team which won the Toulon Tournament in 2017.

Former Republic of Ireland worldwide Andy Reid has given his blessing to Declan Rice, telling talkSPORT (Hawksbee and Jacobs, 13/03, 13:30-14:00) that he hopes he does really well for England.

It seened to be a foregone conclusion that West Ham midfield star Declan Rice was going to receive his first England call-up this week, but when it was at last confirmed today it was still a delight to Hammers fans.

London-born Rice picked up three senior caps for Ireland in friendlies against Turkey, France and U.S. in 2018, but dropped out of their squad last Autumn ahead of a series of competitive fixtures in the newly-formed UEFA Nations League.

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has also been recalled having not featured for his country in almost two years.

"There aren't many players of his age playing as well as he is in the Premier League".

"That said, there were never any guarantees made to him". But his form has been excellent. You have to be very clear that you feel they have a future with you.

Jack Grealish declared for England in 2015
Jack Grealish declared for England in 2015

Southgate pointed to an article Eni Aluko wrote in "The Guardian" last month, in which the former England worldwide wrote that there "needs to be a much more mature attitude in football towards players who have dual nationality".

"We like his character, his leadership qualities and he can play as a holding midfielder or a defender".

Gareth Southgate's side face the Czech Republic at Wembley on 22 March, before travelling to Montenegro to participate in their second competitive fixture on 25 March.

"We don't have many English goalkeepers playing, all of those that are playing have had moments and spells of good form, making good saves and days when they have not been so good", he told BBC Radio 5 Live and TalkSPORT.

"What I like in our squad, is there are a lot of players who want to be among the best in the world".

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".

"We have always tried to look at that as ethically as we can. He's only recently got back into the team at Southampton", Southgate added.

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