Mick McCarthy says Declan Rice left Ireland for a 'prettier date' 5 months ago

Mick McCarthy says Declan Rice left Ireland for a 'prettier date'

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said that Declan Rice left Ireland for a prettier date in England.

Rice, capped three times by the Republic of Ireland, declared his intention to switch his international allegiance to England last month despite kissing the Irish badge during an underage international game.

It was a big blow for Mick McCarthy and his Irish team and the new Ireland manager said that the 19-year-old wanted to move on from the Boys in Green.

"I knew months ago," said McCarthy on The Late Late Show.

"I describe him as waiting for a prettier date. He got a 5/10 with me but he was obviously waiting for a slightly prettier one, a Victoria Secret model coming along. I describe that as a bit of fun but I got the sense that he was going to join England.

"I just needed to confirm it and of course when I knew I text the relevant people to let them know because I thought it was important because I knew as soon as I'd been told it was going to come out."

The Ireland manager also gave details while speaking to the press of the phone call Rice called McCarthy to inform him of the decision.

"I told him, 'Declan, I've known for two months you wouldn't be playing for us. I just wanted you to confirm it," McCarthy said.

"I was just pleased when he told me. Yes, he rang me. He said to me, 'Mick, it was an honour...'

"And I said, 'Hold on, I don't want to hear that. If you're not playing for us then crack on, good luck."