Declan Rice in action for England

Rice named in England World Cup squad

Declan Rice has been named in England’s 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.

The West Ham United captain will head to his first World Cup finals, having been an integral part of the England side that qualified for the tournament and also reached the UEFA European Championship final in July 2021.

Since Rice’s international debut in March 2019, which came in a 5-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over the Czech Republic, Rice has represented England on 34 occasions in total.

In that time, the Hammers’ No41 has scored for his country twice – first in a UEFA Nations League tie over Iceland in 2020, then a year later against Hungary in a World Cup qualifier.

He will now hope to follow in the footsteps of West Ham legends Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, who helped England lift the World Cup trophy for the only time in the country's history in 1966. 

Declan Rice against Germany

England go into the tournament looking to build on the progression made under Gareth Southgate in recent years.

At the delayed Euro 2020 finals in the summer of 2021, the Three Lions reached their first major final in 55 years. Southgate's men fell agonisingly short at Wembley, losing 3-2 on penalties to Italy following a 1-1 draw.

In Qatar, England will seek to go one step further, and also go beyond their semi-final finish at their last World Cup finals. At the 2018 edition held in Russia, England fell one match short of their first World Cup final since 1966 losing 2-1 to Croatia.  

This time around, England take on Iran, USA and Wales in Group B.

Rice and company begin their 2022 World Cup campaign against Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday 21 November at 1pm GMT, then face the USA in their second group-stage fixture at Al Bayt Stadium on Friday 25 November at 7pm GMT.

England’s final Group B match will see them face Wales – who have reached their first World Cup Finals in 64 years – at Al Rayyan Stadium on Tuesday 29 November at 7pm GMT.

Rice will join teammates Lucas Paquetá, Alphonse Areola, Thilo Kehrer and Nayef Aguerd in Qatar after the quartet were named in France, Brazil, Germany and Morocco squads respectively.