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Mark O'Noble?

Filed: Tuesday, 26th October 2010
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's Mark Noble could be set to feature for the Republic of Ireland at international level, according to fresh rumours.

The 23-year-old Hammers midfielder is said to be considering giving up hope of featuring for England - whom he has previously captained at under 21 level - in order to play for the Irish.

Canning Town-born Noble is understood to qualify to play for Ireland through one of his grandparents and is able to do so following a FIFA ruling last year that declared players who have represented one country at youth and under-21 level can now change their allegiance.

Noble - who made his 20th and final appearance for England's under-21s at the 2009 European Championships, in which he captained the side beaten in the final by Germany - has never been picked at senior level for England and is said to have run out of patience, despite the careers of regular central midfielders such as Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard soon to be coming to an end.

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