Southgate hands Rice his chance

13 March 2019 10:34:00 EST

England boss Gareth Southgate has included West Ham's Declan Rice and Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson in his squad for this month's Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The World Cup 2018 semi-finalists are set to play the Czech Republic on 22nd March before travelling to face Montenegro three days later.

Rice pledged his international future to England last month even though the 20-year-old had won three senior Republic of Ireland caps, all in friendlies.

He had played for his grandparents' country since Under-16 level but Southgate is pleased that he has decided to represent England.

He said: "His form warrants his selection. It has been a well-publicised situation with Declan and we have tracked him for a long time.

"When you're asking a player to transfer association you have to feel the player has a future with you. Saying that, there are no guarantees, but his form has been excellent. We like his character and he can play as a holding midfielder or a defender. We look forward to welcoming him next week."

Wilson returned to the Bournemouth side last weekend after an injury lay-off and scored in the 2-0 victory at Huddersfield Town. The striker netted in England's 3-0 win against the USA in an international friendly four months ago.

England are 7/1 to win Euro 2020 and 2/7 to beat the Czech Republic next week.

England squad:
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Jordan Pickford (Everton).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham).
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).

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