Wayne Rooney has said it's up to young Jack Grealish to decide what he wishes to do with his international future but says he's a 'firm believer that the country you were born in is the country you should play for'.
Rooney does acknowledge that 'the rules are the rules', ie. grannies are central to the process.
In 1986, after John Aldridge was picked to play for Ireland, the moustacheoid half of Saint & Greavsie gave his own view on the granny rule business.
I think you gotta draw the line somewhere Saint. I mean my grandparents were Irish. I was born in the East End of London. I talk like this. 'Ow can I play for Ireland!?
Wayne Rooney instinctively takes much the same view (substitute Liverpool for the East End of London). He confirms that he was asked to declare for Ireland back in the early noughties, roughly around the period when he announced himself against Arsenal.
Mick McCarthy made inquiries through an intermediary in the shape of Lee Carsley.
I’ve never thought about playing for Ireland. I was born in England. I’m English. When I was at Everton [in 2001] Lee Carsley asked me about it on behalf of Mick McCarthy but it never crossed my mind. I have Irish grandparents, so if they wanted to play for Ireland I’m sure they could have, but it was never something I thought about.
He gave us an insight into his state of mind ahead of today's game.
I am English through and through and I have no issue with trying to beat Ireland. I am playing for England and I want to help England win.