Ogbonna, who himself opted to represent Italy ahead of the country of his parents' birth, Nigeria, as a youngster, backed Rice to make his mark in an England shirt, after making the switch from the Republic of Ireland.
“I did expect it to happen so quickly," the defender told whufc.com. “Dec has a lot of quality and I'm very, very happy for him. This is just the beginning for him and I wish him the best of luck.
“I'm not surprised to be fair because everybody can see his quality. He is a talented player, but first of all I think he is a humble player, a humble person, so he deserves this and I wish him the best of luck for everything. He has to keep his feet on the ground and continue in this way.
“He can read the game, he is very good on the ball, as a centre half he can keep the ball at his feet and he can give the team the balance. He has many qualities as a young player and he has to keep working and improving.
“I think he has to work hard, like he has done all this time. He is a good talent and I think he's ambitious as well, and that is very important at this level. With talent and quality, I think he can be successful for England."