James McClean tells Declan Rice to 'sod off' after choosing England over IrelandMarch 26, 2019
JAMES McCLEAN has told Declan Rice to "sod off" after his switch to England.
Northern Ireland-born McClean scorned his ex-Republic team-mate for saying he was "proud" when he played for each country.
West Ham midfielder Rice, 21, played three friendlies for the Republic of Ireland before changing allegiance last month, appearing in England's first two Euro 2020 qualifiers.
And although Stoke star McClean previously appeared seven times for Northern Ireland Under-21s, he dished out the fiercest criticism of Rice yet from a former colleague.
McClean, 29, told RTE Sport's Tony O'Donoghue: "He said he was a proud Irishman. Then he said he was a proud Englishman.
"If he's both… good luck to him but I don't buy it. I think you're either one or the other.
"I was with Derry City when I got the call-up to play for the North and I turned it down because it's not my country.
"It's never been my country. I'm an Irishman.
"It's not just Declan, it's anyone else. If you're not proud to be here and we're a stepping stone then sod off and play for someone else.
"We only want players here who want to play for Ireland, who feel Irish and are proud to be Irish."
Rice, who was seemingly ignored by TV cameras while singing the national anthem before England's 5-1 win at Montenegro last night, claimed in mid-February he agonised over swapping nations.
His lengthy tweet at the time of the announcement included: "This has been an extremely difficult decision.
"I consider myself to be of mixed nationality. I have equal respect for both England and Ireland and therefore the national team I choose to represent is not a clear-cut, simple selection.
"Ultimately, it is a personal decision I have made with my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future."
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