Derby defender reveals he rejected England U21 interest for Republic of Ireland call up

Derby County defender Cyrus Christie confirmed he rejected advances from the England under-21 side to represent the Republic of Ireland.

Derby County defender Cyrus Christie told reporters in Ireland that he had the chance to join up with the England under-21 squad, but decided against it in favour of a call up to the Republic of Ireland senior national team. 

On the decision to snub England's advances for Ireland, the Coventry-born defender commented: 'I always knew about the Irish connection and it was one that I wanted to do.'

'England under-21s were in touch with me at the same time but Ireland was the best option for me.'

'I spoke to the people who advise me, like my agent, the manager at Derby Steve McClaren and other people around me. We came to the conclusion that Ireland would be better for me. It was really a no-brainer and it didn't take much consideration.'

'I think there are better opportunities for me with Ireland. They are a good team going places.' 

Christie, who will be joined by Derby County teammates Jeff Hendrick and Richard Keogh, when Ireland travel to Celtic Park in their crucial qualifier which could define their European Championship qualification credentials. 

The 22-year-old has been in fantastic form for the current league leaders in the Championship and has been named by many supporters as the Rams best signing of the summer. 

The attack-minded full-back possess an incredible engine that comfortably sees him through a full 90 minutes despite usually covering the whole right side of the pitch. 

In Derby County's current set-up, Christie is tasked with providing an attacking impetus due to having no conventional right midfielder, as well as providing adequate cover when teams hit on the break. 

Four assists in his 16 Championship appearances this season makes him the current highest goal providing defender in the league. Although, he will be disappointed not to have found the back of the net in a Derby shirt just yet.

The game against Scotland could provide too much too soon for the Derby County defender as he looks to integrate into the national set-up. However, the friendly against the United States on the 18th November could offer the perfect platform for him to make his international debut and show Martin O'Neill what he can offer. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch