Former Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer says he is disappointed to see Declan Rice hedging his bets when it comes to his international allegiance.
The defender has represented Ireland on three occasions at senior level but asked not to be picked for the Nations League game with Wales as he has not yet decided whether or not he wants to play for Ireland or England.
James McClean became the first current Ireland player to comment publicly on Rice's decision to delay declaring for Ireland.
The Stoke winger made his feelings known when responding to a tweet by OTB regular and Ireland centurion Kevin Kilbane.
Kilbane wrote: “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.
McClean commented: “Bang on lad.. representing your country should be an honour and a proud moment.”
McAteer was a guest on Tuesday’s OTB AM he shared his thoughts with Ger and Eoin on the sorry situation: “Disappointed when I seen it, I seen the fall-out last night and Kev’s comments on Off The Ball.
“I agree with Kev, I’m a similar situation I grew up in England but I was always an Ireland fan, my grandfather was born in Ireland, I was a barman when I was watching the 1990 World Cup and I became a 12th man of Irish football and the iconic players and I loved every bit of it.
“When I became a professional footballer that was the country I wanted to play for, it never changed. I was lucky enough to make the grade and be asked and I jumped at the opportunity.
“I was asked to play for England before Jack Charlton asked me to play against Russia in my first game but I held out and I let the FAI know I wanted to play for Ireland, Jack came along to one of the games and asked me to play and I jumped at the opportunity and the rest is history.
“He’s tasted the Irish set-up, he’s played a few games and he’s a great talent and he’s someone I think Irish football needs to come through, he’d play a lot of football and enjoy his time.
“The rule needs to change that a non competitive game gives you the opportunity I don’t think that’s right, once you’ve chose your allegiance to your country then that’s it you go with it, I just don’t know why he would want to.
“From a football point of view I understand it but you got to have a sense of worth in what you’re doing for your country and you got to feel a part of it and I certainly did from the minute I joined up, it was a great time for me and playing for Ireland was the best 12 years of my life.
“I’m disappointed that his head has been swayed and he wants to maybe take the opportunity to play for England, it’s disappointing.”