Wednesday 20 Mar
Updated Wednesday 20 Mar 16:39
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Rice receives warm welcome from England teammates

 

Declan Rice says he was ‘bursting with pride’ after being named in the full England squad for the first time.

West Ham United’s Kingston-upon-Thames born youngster received FIFA clearance to switch international registration from Republic of Ireland in early March and received a call-up from Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate just days later.

The 20-year-old is now being tipped to be handed his senior England debut this Friday evening, when Southgate’s side kick-off their UEFA Euro 2020 Group A qualifying campaign by hosting Czech Republic at Wembley.

I was just bursting with pride. It’s everything that you’ve wanted to work for as a kid and it has come true

Declan Rice

“You can’t describe it. A straight smile, I just couldn’t believe it," he told the official England YouTube channel, when asked how he felt when he learnt he had been included in Southgate’s selection.

"I was ill the day last week when the squad got announced. My Dad came home and we were watching the TV and it came up that I was in the squad.

“I was just bursting with pride. It’s everything that you’ve wanted to work for as a kid and it has come true. The call-up is one of the best feelings you’re ever going to feel.”

Rice was pictured arriving at St George’s Park holding a West Ham United carrier bag containing his football boots on Monday, while The FA also posted videos of him meeting and training alongside his new England squad-mates for the first time, which you can watch here.