Declan Rice wins Irish Young Player of the Year award despite declaring for England

Declan Rice

Declan Rice is to be named Ireland's Young Player of the Year at Sunday's FAI International Awards - despite opting to switch allegiance to England.

The award for the West Ham player was voted for by members of the Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland.

At the time of the vote, Rice was a Republic of Ireland international and qualified for the Young Player prize.

The 20-year-old won three senior caps in international friendly games but revealed his decision last month.

Fifa confirmed last week that Rice, who was born in London with Irish grandparents, was free to start his England career.

Because all his Republic appearances were friendlies it left the door open for the player, who considers himself to be "of mixed nationality", to change allegiance.

After representing Ireland at youth level, Rice's senior games included facing France and the United States before the 2018 World Cup.

However, speculation over his long-term international future mounted after he became a West Ham regular under Manuel Pellegrini this season.

"The FAI has completed his international transfer via the Fifa protocols and wishes him well in the future," read a statement released by the FAI on Tuesday.

"This award maintains the integrity of the voting process in conjunction with the Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland and the FAI thanks the jury members for their decisions relating to the awards," the statement continued.

The midfielder will not be in Dublin on Sunday to collect his award.

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