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Daryl dilemma Horgan admits that there is some lingering regret that Declan Rice decided to ditch his allegiance to the Irish cause

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 Daryl Horgan is disappointed Rice picked the England national team over Ireland

Daryl Horgan is disappointed Rice picked the England national team over Ireland

Daryl Horgan is disappointed Rice picked the England national team over Ireland

Daryl Horgan admits that there is some lingering regret, but not recrimination, that Declan Rice decided to ditch his allegiance to the Irish cause as the West Ham man prepares to face his erstwhile colleagues in Wembley this week.

“Look, we all know how good a player he is,” said the former Dundalk winger, who now plays his trade with Wycombe Wanderers.

“He’s a very talented guy. It’s one of them. He should never have been in that position in the first place.

“There should be stricter rules so that if you play a friendly, then that’s that. But the position presented itself, he was born in England, has lived in England all his life. I can understand it.

“It’s disappointing from our point of view because he’s a very, very good player. But I wouldn’t hold it against him.

“He’s a young guy and he probably felt the option would never be there so it presented itself and he made the decision. And he’s having a great career and I’m sure he’ll have a great career for the foreseeable future.”

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Declan Rice broke Irish hearts

Declan Rice broke Irish hearts

Declan Rice broke Irish hearts

Rice will meet old friends this week; social distancing may remove the chance of a warm embrace, although that may have been unlikely in any event.

“To be honest, we only really chatted on international duty,” says Horgan, whose meetings with Rice were almost as fleeting as Rice’s flirtation with the Irish team.

“We were only in one or two squads together, a couple of those friendlies towards the summer when he made his decision. So I wouldn’t know him that well. I don’t know how much contact he’s kept up with anyone to be honest with you.”

Horgan is looking forward to making his bow at Wembley.

“I’ve never played there before, I’ve never even been in the stadium. So I’m looking forward to getting a run out the day before definitely and hopefully the Thursday itself.

“When you’re coming through, there are a few places you want to play. Your own international stadium, the club you follow when you’re younger.

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“And Wembley is always one, it’s up there with your Bernebaus and Nou Camps. To get the opportunity to play there would be brilliant. And an Ireland versus England game would be unreal. “So hopefully I’ll get a run out and we’ll see how it goes. It will be a special occasion no matter what really.”

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