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Declan Rice issues response after historic IRA comments surface on social media

Mirror logo Mirror 21/03/2019 Alex Smith

Declan Rice is with the England squad for the first time © Getty Declan Rice is with the England squad for the first time Declan Rice has issued a statement after old social media posts emerged of him appearing to support the IRA.

West Ham midfielder Rice recently converted his international allegiances from the Republic of Ireland national team to England.

Gareth Southgate called him up for the Three Lions' Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro during this international break.

Video: Rice on the decision to turn his back on Ireland (Sky Sports)

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The midfielder came through the Irish ranks, having played in the under 16s, 17s, 19s and 21s as well as three friendlies for the first team.

Rice wrote a comment on an Instagram post in 2015 saying: "My brudda. UP THE RA. Wait till we draw England."

And on another he posted the hashtag "UPTHERA."

After it resurfaced ahead of his potential England debut on Friday night against Czech Republic, Rice has issued a statement on the comments.

He said in an Instagram story: "I am aware that a poorly-expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been been circulated on social media.

“I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my team-mates at the time could be negatively interpreted.

a close up of a black background: Rice issued an apology © Twitter Rice issued an apology “While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”

Rice qualified for Ireland through his grandparents, who were from County Cork, having been born in Kingston Upon Thames, in south west London.

“As you can hear, I am English. I am from England," Rice said after making his controversial decision to turn his back on Ireland.

“It was really good playing for Ireland. Now I’m just really looking forward to the future and pulling on the England shirt.

“I’ve just got to look forward and forget about the past.”

The 20-year-old has had a stand-out campaign for West Ham and has netted twice in 32 appearances for the Hammers.

Gallery: Predicted England side to face Czech Republic (Read Sport)

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