Last week, Keith Andrews shared his concerns about Declan Rice's international future with the English-born Ireland Under-21 cap seemingly on the radar of England manager Gareth Southgate.
But reports today suggest that he will commit to Ireland at senior level and the promising West Ham defender is expected to be involved when Ireland face Turkey in a friendly in March.
Kenny Cunningham has seen the player at close quarters and welcomed the news. But he also reckons that Rice's availability is an opportunity for Ireland manager Martin O'Neill to experiment with the formations that could allow for a back-three.
With Declan Rice expected to be involved in Ireland's upcoming friendly against Turkey, Kenny's intrigued about how Martin O'Neill will deploy him and how it suits our best players #OTB #COYBIG #WHUCRY pic.twitter.com/5t55rU3ZGA
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) January 30, 2018
"I've worked with Declan over a period of time as you know with the Irish under-19s. I'm a big fan of his, of his qualities and of his personality and his character and I know he thorougly enjoyed his time with the 19s and he's since been promoted to the '21s so I've no reason to believe that he won't fully commit himself [to Ireland] as far as I'm concerned he is totally committed to the Ireland jersey," said Kenny, adding that he's looking forward to the player given a chance in Turkey, suggesting that he is "ready".
"It'll be fascinating to see how Martin actually uses him. He's predominantly a central defender but I look at the number of centre halves coming into our squad now and I'm fascinated to see whether Martin will just tinker with things a little bit in terms of formation - maybe play with three centre halves."
Referencing the many players who can play at wing back like Robbie Brady, Seamus Coleman upon his return and James McClean, Kenny feels it provides more options for the team going forward.