Declan Rice: Andy Townsend disagrees with rules around international allegiance

Declan Rice training with Republic of Ireland
Declan Rice played in three friendlies for Republic of Ireland against Turkey, France and the United States last year

Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend disagrees with the rules that allowed Declan Rice to switch international allegiance to England.

Rice, 20, won three senior caps for the Republic of Ireland, all in friendlies.

However, he was able to pledge his international future to England as he had not played in a competitive match.

"I think the rules are wrong and they don't do anyone any favours," Townsend told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I do understand that, for many reasons, playing for England would be more significant than playing for Ireland but I think once you have made the decision to play for a team, that should be it and you should get on with it."

Rice was born in England but has played for the Republic, his grandparents' country, since under-16 level.

In August, he said he needed more time to decide his international future.

"I don't think there is any doubt that over time he will get an opportunity to play for the senior England national team," added Townsend, who was born in England but earned 70 caps for the Republic.

"But it's such a shame because I think he is ready now to really go and lead Ireland and propel them forward.

"But he's made his call and that's his decision."

How Rice's Opta stats compare to his England midfield rivals
PlayerPassing accuracy %Minutes playedInterceptions/90minsTackles/90minsChances createdTouches/90minsGoals
Declan Rice86.0320251.62.7757.71
Jordan Henderson88.7212331.22.38100.60
Fabian Delph91.347251.62.93107.40
Eric Dier84.9411331.31.9672.62
Harry Winks91.3614191.11.3590.21

Top Stories