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25th Nov 2018

Mick McCarthy has made plans to meet with Declan Rice

Robert Redmond

“I’m going to go speak to him in December”

Mick McCarthy was unveiled as the Republic of Ireland’s new manager on Sunday in Dublin. McCarthy succeeds Martin O’Neill, who left his post earlier this week after five years in the job, and will be taking charge of the national team for his second stint.

The 59-year-old will be joined in the job by Terry Connor, his long-time assistant, and Robbie Keane will also be on the coaching staff.

In 2020, McCarthy will be succeeded in the job by Stephen Kenny, who has left his position as Dundalk manager to become Ireland under-21 coach before stepping into the senior team role.

The former Sunderland manager touched on a range of topics when speaking to the media at the Aviva Stadium, including his plans to meet with Declan Rice.

The West Ham United player has featured for Ireland at underage level and earned three senior caps. However, over the summer he was contacted by England about representing the country of his birth.

The final few months of O’Neill’s reign were dogged by questions about Rice, as the 19-year-old is still undecided about where his international future lies.

It sounds as though McCarthy is seeking clarity on the situation, and he has already made plans to meet with Rice next month.

“I spoke to Declan’s father. I had a good conversation with him,” McCarthy told reporters at the Aviva Stadium.

“Just to clear up some things as well, some misconceptions. Declan wasn’t here for the games because he had a fall out with Roy or with Martin, he’s got the utmost respect for both of those guys.

“But he was asked by Gareth Southgate to go see St George’s Park. And to see whether he could be enticed to go play with them.

“He didn’t say he wanted to or didn’t want to. But he found it overwhelming. I remember saying myself he should just get into the West Ham team and take a back seat and see how he’s doing.

“Well he’s got into that West Ham team, and he’s doing well and I’m going to go speak to him in December when his father is around. (I’ll) sit down and have a chat with them both.”

Rice was reportedly approached by England manager Gareth Southgate about representing the country. He is also in a standoff over a new contract with his club.

So far, he has given no indication as to when he will decide his international future. Rice’s last game for Ireland was the 2-1 win over the United States in Dublin last June.