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Sir Geoff Hurst Exclusive: Ireland or England for West Ham's Declan Rice?

England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst has weighed into the debate over the international commitment of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

The 19 year-old has been a revelation for the Hammers this season amid an international tug-of-war for his services between the Republic of Ireland and England.

Rice has already been capped three times by Ireland, but has asked not to be considered for recent squads as he weighs up an approach from England coach Gareth Southgate.

However, while Rice was named in this week's Ireland squad, coach Martin O'Neill is still hopeful he will get the answer he wants from the English-born player, who qualifies for Ireland through his father's side of the family.

For West Ham legend Hurst, he can understand the dilemma Rice is facing.

The former Hammers FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup winner, who played over 400 games for the Irons, says such a decision must be a personal one for the player.

Hurst told Tribalfootball.com on behalf of Grosvenorsport.com: "A very difficult decision for a young player.

"You may think he's got more chance of playing more games for an Irish team than the (England) national team. So I know he's looking to decide at the moment but it is quite a difficult decision, also not only from a football point of view but a family point of view, where he's got obviously an Irish and English connection with his family.

"So that's difficult, but I want to wish him well but it's potential and he's got to improve."

Rice has become an ever present for Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini and Hurst admits he likes what he's seen so far.

The '66 hero added: "He looks from the small amount I've seen a good prospect."

For more from Sir Geoff on West Ham, including his thoughts on Pellegrini's impact this season, watch below:

England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst is an ambassador for Grosvenorsport.com to support the 2018/19 Grosvenor Goals campaign.

Grosvenor Goals is the free-to-play game where, each week, entrants have the chance to win £1 million if their 10 chosen players are all first goal scorers.

The game will also offer £10k for anyone who predicts 10 anytime goal scorers from their selections, with a £10 free bet to those who successfully pick three or more first scorers each week.

England legend Sir Geoff Hurst will play his part too – if he selects four or more first goal scorers in a game week, all users who play Grosvenor Goals that week will win a £10 free bet.

To keep up to date with Sir Geoff's picks every week, follow Grosvenor Sport on Twitter.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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