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Declan Rice earns first England call-up after Ireland switch

The West Ham youngster has been included in the 25-man squad.

Declan Rice has impressed for West Ham in the Premier League this season.
Declan Rice has impressed for West Ham in the Premier League this season.
Image: Paul Harding

GARETH SOUTHGATE HAS named Declan Rice in his 25-man squad for England’s upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Rice only recently switched his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland , with Fifa officially granting the transfer in nationality on 5 March.

However, after a string of impressive performances for club side West Ham he has earned his spot in England’s squad for the upcoming games.

The 20-year-old played three times for Ireland, but all three appearances were in friendly matches meaning his is still eligible to play for the Three Lions.

He joins the likes of Tom Heaton, Callum Wilson and Jadon Sancho in a young England squad who will be looking to kickstart the nation’s European Championships qualifying campaign in winning style.

Sancho keeps his place in the squad after more impressive performance in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund.

The 18-year-old winger has racked up nine goals and 11 assists in all competitions this season for Lucien Favre’s side.

Elsewhere, Jordan Pickford keeps his place in the squad despite some question marks over his recent form for club side for Everton.

He is joined by fellow goalkeepers Jack Butland and Heaton, who earns a recall having been in impressive for for Burnley in 2019.

Southgate’s side host the Czech Republic on 22 March, before an away tie against Montenegro on 25 March.

These two games are the last fixtures before this summer’s Uefa Nations League finals in Portugal, where Southgate’s men will face the Netherlands in the semi-finals on 6 June.

If victorious, they will advance to the final to take on either Portugal or Switzerland on June 9.

Full England squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Tom Heaton, Jordan Pickford Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, Luke Shaw, John Stones, James Tarkowski, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Dele Alli, Fabian Delph, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Declan Rice. Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Callum Wilson. 

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