Ireland legend Kevin Kilbane has taken to Twitter to vent his frustration at the news emerging from the Republic of Ireland squad announcement that Declan Rice declined an invitation to join the squad for the upcoming games.
Martin O'Neill had hoped to hand a competitive cap to the England born defender to secure his services at senior level, Rice has represented Ireland on three occasions in friendly games.
He told O’Neill that he would like more time to consider his options after talks with representatives from the English FA.
“I’d rather be ranked 150th in the world and never qualify again than have someone who has played, but needs time to THINK whether they should play for us again. Well done to MON for transparency," Kilbane wrote on Twitter.
O'Neill addressed the situation and said he hopes Rice will decide to represent Ireland: “He is still deliberating. He is a young man. England have spoken to him. He is taking time to make his mind up. He has done brilliantly for us. I'm giving him a little bit of time.
“I wouldn't be exaggerating to say Declan has loved it with us. After the Turkey game his father was there and it was a joyous moment for them. We have done everything we can. He has been welcomed by the squad, the fans. He is taking time and I am respecting that."
Kilbane will be in studio on Monday's Off The Ball, live from 7pm on OffTheBall.com.