Declan Rice apologises for ‘Up the Ra’ Instagram comments

John Stones has failed to shake off a groin injury

John Stones failed to shake off a groin injury

Southgate also played down the controversy surrounding West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, whose maiden England call-up after switching allegiance from Republic of Ireland has been overshadowed by the emergence of an old social media post with connotations to support for the IRA. Having watched him in training these past few days, Southgate already considers him ready to play for England.

Played the full 90 minutes as Manchester United bowed out of the FA Cup at Wolves, but a reoccurring complaint saw the left-back pull out on Monday.

After an impressive breakthrough season at West Ham he earned a first call-up to the England squad last week and was thought to be in line for a start in the Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic on Friday night.

"Posts stating "UP THE RA" and "#UPTHERA" were made as he issued messages of support for his Ireland Under-17s teammates back in 2015.

I am aware that a poorly-expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been circulated on social media.

Fabian Delph left played just under an hour against Swansea last weekend
Fabian Delph left played just under an hour against Swansea last weekend

"While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion, and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologise for any offence caused". Kane is 7-2 with Ladbrokes to score first but I've read he could be a doubt so check latest team news.

"The future is bright really with all the young players coming through and how well they are doing, that's really good for England".

"I think any of us at that age, in those sorts of situations have probably said things, discussed things, written things, that might not look the way that'd we'd want them to several years later, so I don't think he can say or do any more than he's said at this point in time".

"I think people will recognise their own experiences at 15, 16 and that they're not mature [at that age]". You're in conversations with friends, you can get giddy and say things that you don't know enough about or you don't understand the context. "None of us are, but you know, you've got a lot more to learn about life at those ages than you have when you get to my age".

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