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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 25 April, 2018

Ireland underage international handed Premier League debut

Declan Rice came on in the dying minutes of West Ham’s win over Burnley.

IRELAND UNDERAGE INTERNATIONAL Declan Rice was handed a Premier League debut in West Ham’s 2-1 win over Burnley today.

18-year-old Rice, who can play defence or midfield, replaced Edimilson Fernandes in the 91st minute at Turf Moor this afternoon.

Born in London, he qualifies to represent the Boys in Green through his Irish-born grandparents.

“Declan is very good for his age,” manager Slaven Bilic said of Rice during the week. “He is extremely good, he is mature and it’s all based on the training and he plays very well for the U23s. He has a bright future in him and it’s all down to him.”

Today’s landmark continues a memorable few months for Rice, who was named Ireland U17 International Player of the Year back in March, while in the same month, he penned a new three-and-a-half year contract with the Hammers.

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Paul Fennessy

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