It's an honour to play for England, says Rice

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 2nd September 2019

Declan Rice was heavily involved as West Ham secured three successive games in the space of eight days.

However there was little time for celebration for West Ham's young midfielder as he is preparing to join Gareth Southgate's England squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

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Rice featured for 90 minutes against both Watford and Norwich City but was afforded a rest last Tuesday night as the Hammers ran out 2-0 winners against Newport County at Rodney Parade in the Carabao Cup.

And following West Ham's excellent recent run, he is set to team up with the rest of the England squad at St George's Park.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Rice told Rob Pritchard. "When the squad is announced it's always an honour to be called up and be a part of it.

"It's a great young attacking team and I'm really looking forward to going away with the lads and working under Gareth again - and hopefully getting two victories there."

And Rice also revealed that he was looking forward to teaming up again with lifelong friend Mason Mount, with whom he was a team mate at Chelsea before moving to West Ham in 2015.

"When I got released from Chelsea we always said 'one day, we will play together again'", he added. "Now, hopefully the chance will be for England - that'll be really special for me and my family."

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Rice enters the international break in good form following a strong start to the 2019/20 campaign, in which he featured in all four of West Ham's August Premier League fixtures.

And he admitted to being delighted with West Ham's start to the campaign, - which has seen the club enjoy a four-match unbeaten run following the opening day defeat at home to reigning champions Manchester City - and Saturday's win against Norwich City.

"It looks goods being fifth in the table," he said with a smile. "I've never been [as high as] fifth, so that reads good!

"I thought we were top notch; they've been in good form, Norwich, and they done well at Liverpool and Chelsea. [Teemu] Pukki has been on fire but we kept them at bay and I don't really remember them creating any chances.

"We were wary of them because we know they had good attacking players, but we nullified everything and when we had the ball we looked a real threat in the first half. In the second half we could have had at least another three or four, for sure.

"I think that's what we should expect of ourselves every week; attacking and defending together from Seb [Haller] back to Lukasz [Fabianski], everyone knew their jobs. It's a good buzz to get the three points. We go into the international break now and then we prepare ourselves for Villa."

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