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Big Boys in Green Coleman promises there will be no 'childish stuff' towards Rice or Grealish


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Seamus Coleman and manager Stephen Kenny have a chat ahead of the England clash

Seamus Coleman and manager Stephen Kenny have a chat ahead of the England clash

Seamus Coleman and manager Stephen Kenny have a chat ahead of the England clash

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has promised there will be no "childish stuff" from the visitors if former Irish players Jack Grealish, Declan Rice and Michael Keane are involved in tonight's friendly at Wembley.

Coleman was in the side on the three occasions when Rice was capped at senior level by Ireland, before his 2019 defection to England. Meanwhile former Ireland U-21 cap Grealish could come up against former international team-mates such as Shane Duffy, Matt Doherty and John Egan, if selected by Gareth Southgate.

The FA have already moved to take away potential poppy-related issues by holding their ceremonies related to Armistice Day at training on the day before the game. Black armbands will be worn to honour ex-international Nobby Stiles and not Britain's servicemen.

The sight of Rice, Ireland's young player of the year as recently as 2019, and Grealish in an England shirts may irk Ireland fans but Coleman says the squad will not dwell on the defections.

"We just want to do well for ourselves, but there is going to be none of that childish stuff, definitely not," Coleman said.

"Jack and Declan decided what they were going to do and it's entirely up to themselves. They are top players who we would like to have, but they just saw it elsewhere.

"It's not like I'm going to be shouting in their ear tonight, by no means. I've got to concentrate on my own team and our players."

Coleman is back in the Ireland squad after injury kept him out of last month's win-less run of games, but it was team selection which saw him out in the cold in September with Matt Doherty preferred at left back. This week, injury to Enda Stevens frees up the left-back slot for Doherty to allow Coleman return and both are expected to play.

The Donegal man joked about his much-discussed relationship with Doherty ("we're not getting on well at the minute at all, we had a fallout there about half an hour ago") but insists that his form with his club, since he was dropped by Kenny, shows he should be in on merit.

"The first couple of games, the manager chose to go that way with Matt and no problems from me. It doesn't change what I am and what I do," Coleman added.

"I went back to club level and I did my talking on the pitch and had a good start to the season before picking up a niggle. But me and Matt get on very well, we support each other in the role. Matt is a very good full back and whoever plays, plays and that is part and parcel of this game."

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