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Absent Declan Rice 'deliberating' his future, claims Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill

Credit: PA

Declan Rice has been omitted from the latest Republic of Ireland squad as manager Martin O'Neill admits the West Ham defender is still deliberating over switching allegiances to England.

London-born Rice has three senior caps for the Republic but they all came in friendly matches, meaning the 19-year-old could yet decide to represent England instead.

Speaking after announcing his squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League clash with Wales and a friendly against Poland, O'Neill explained Rice's absence.

"He (Rice) is still deliberating," he said.

Rice most recently played for the Republic of Ireland in June. Credit: PA

"He is a young man. England have spoken to him. He is taking time to make his mind up. He has done brilliantly for us. I'm giving him a little bit of time."

After making his debut against Turkey in March, Rice suggested he was happy to remain a part of the set-up with the Republic.

Asked by Press Association Sport if he might have a change of heart, he replied: "Nothing. I've come away, played in the game and loved every minute of it.

"I've loved being around the team and at the moment I'm fully focused on playing with Ireland."

O'Neill said Rice had enjoyed being part of his Ireland setup. Credit: PA

Following the 1-0 defeat to Turkey, Rice - who has been capped at several youth levels of Ireland - went on to feature in two further friendlies at the end of last season.

The meeting with Wales in Cardiff in the newly-formed Nations League constitutes a competitive fixture and so, if Rice had played, he could then be tied to the Republic of Ireland for the remainder of his career..

"I wouldn't be exaggerating to say Declan has loved it with us," added O'Neill.

"After the Turkey game his father was there and it was a joyous moment for them. We have done everything we can. He has been welcomed by the squad, the fans. He is taking time and I am respecting that."

Preston striker Robinson has received his first call-up. Credit: PA

Elsewhere in O'Neill's squad, former England youth international Callum Robinson has received his first call-up.

Preston striker Robinson, previously capped at England Under-20 level, qualifies for the Republic of Ireland through his grandmother and now has international clearance.

"His paperwork has gone through to represent us competitively," O'Neill explained.

"I saw him recently against Norwich. He is a nice footballer. I will be encouraging him to take players on. That is what I want Robinson to do."

Goalkeeper Sean McDermott, 25, has also been handed a first senior call-up as the former Under-21 international has impressed with club side Kristiansund BK in Norway.

O'Neill is without a host of regulars with the likes of Robbie Brady, Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire and James McCarthy missing through injury.