WATCH: The Declan Rice debate - England or Republic of Ireland?

Last Updated: 09/09/18 2:58pm

Watch the Sunday Supplement guests debate Declan Rice's situation
5:05
Watch the Sunday Supplement guests debate Declan Rice's situation

Should Declan Rice represent England or Republic or Ireland?

The West Ham defender has played three times for Ireland but withdrew from their squad to face Wales and Poland last week to consider whether he wanted to represent England instead.

The move would utilise a loophole whereby players who have only earned senior caps outside of competitive games can switch allegiances, and for Rice, it would allow him to represent the country of his birth.

Journalists Darren Lewis, Martin Samuel and Sid Lowe debated Rice's decision on the Sunday Supplement and discussed the situations facing players who have the chance to choose the country they represent.

"I feel for him, he is in a difficult situation," said the Daily Mirror's Lewis. "He is a young player and when you are young and play for lower age groups you just play, but when you get to an age where you have to make a choice there are commercial considerations as well as whether you will get into the team.

Coleman: I'd welcome back Rice

"There are many players who have been in this situation before and have chosen England and haven't got near the first team, so you can understand why it's a difficult situation. I think he should take all the time he needs to make a decision."

"I think there should be an age cut off where you pick your country and that's it"

Daily Mail journalist Martin Samuel

But the Daily Mail's Samuel said: "I think there should be an age cut off where you pick your country and that's it. I realise a lot of people qualify for different countries but it shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to say for the integrity of international football it has got to be the 'best of ours' against the 'best of yours'.

"Nationality has got to mean something again. It's not something you select from a catalogue and look at where are the best commercial opportunities and where is a good left-back that might keep me out of the team. It shouldn't be about that.

"I feel sorry for a guy that plays for England and suddenly finds he can't get in the team, but it's not everybody's right to go to a World Cup, and just because you can't get in the team it doesn't mean you can switch to another team.

"It's meant to be about excellence and qualifying for the team. If you can't get in the team then you can't get in the team, not everybody is meant to go to a World Cup."

Watch the video at the top of the page to see Lewis, Samuel and Lowe discuss Rice's situation