Irish captain Seamus Coleman stood along the new debutant after his first game for Martin O'Neill's side and told Tony O'Donoghue "a few of us could have taken a leaf out of his book today and that's the truth."
Declan Rice looked totally at ease last night and while the overall team performance was not impressive his certainly was. Fear had surrounded the West Ham man's international future with England circling but Rice accepted O'Neill's call and while a friendly does not guarantee his international future, his post-match comments to RTE certainly leave it in little doubt.
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.
Rice Qualifies through his paternal grandparents, who died two years. He confirmed signing the national anthem was an emotional moment.
It brought a little bit of a tear to my eye singing it and (remembering) my nana and grandad. It was a special moment.
On social media, Rice described it as a "proud moment for me and my family."
Not the result we wanted tonight. Always an honour pulling on the Irish jersey. Congrats to the lads making there debut. Special mention to @_DeclanRice the kid has got it all big future for him ☘️🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/WrEtY3MFqD
— Shane Duffy (@shaneduffy) March 23, 2018
It is an encouraging sign for Irish fans as Rice was last night's silver lining and has all the characteristics to be a top centre-half going forward.