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Everton fullback Coleman: Ireland players will welcome back Rice

Everton fullback Seamus Coleman insists Republic of Ireland's players hold no grudge against West Ham defender Declan Rice.

It's believed there is growing confidence within the Ireland camp that the West Ham youngster will reject the opportunity to pursue an international career with England.

Ireland captain Coleman said, "On Declan's situation, I spoke last week... some people back home might not like to hear it. He's a 19-year-old boy who was born in England and there's no reason why he can't be a proud Irishman.

"After the Turkey game, where he got Man of the Match, I saw him embrace his father in the tunnel and that's not for show. That's genuine.

"He was genuinely proud to play in the games that he did and in an ideal world we'd get him back. It's not straightforward.

"The young lad was born in England. There's no reason why he can't feel in some part English and also be very proud to play for Ireland, which I know he is.

"So on that situation, fingers crossed, we'd welcome Declan back with open arms... whatever he decides."

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Paul Vegas

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