The former England midfielder says Defoe has more than proved that he was worthy of a spot at this month's tournament.
Defoe scored 18 goals in all competitions for a poor Sunderland side this season, his best personal campaign since he starred for Spurs six years ago.
However, the 33-year-old has not played for England in two-and-a-half years and was once again overlooked by Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson, who claimed that his decision was down to not wanting a player of Defoe's style rather than merely his advancing age.
Meanwhile, Rashford scored eight goals in 18 appearances in remarkable 2016 breakthrough since netting twice on his senior debut in February, and netted after just three minutes on his England debut against Turkey last week.
Despite that meteoric rise, however, Ince believes that England should have gone for the experience and guarantee of goals offered by Defoe rather than taking a punt on Rashford for this month's tournament.
"The last three or four months, back end of the season, he probably kept Sunderland up on his own with the goals he scored. He's a natural finisher.
"As much as everyone's gone over the top about Rashford, I would have taken Jermain Defore first before I would have taken Rashford, if I'm being totally honest. Rashford's one who for me it's too early. You look at the Turkey game and yes he scored after three minutes, but after that he wasn't really in it and didn't do much in the rest of the game, which is what you expect of a young kid."
As it turned out, Defoe's international career looks dead and buried after his latest snub, whilst Rashford will likely find himself acting as a wildcard striking option from the bench with England also boasting Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, and captain and record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.
The Three Lions kick off their tournament against Russia next Saturday.