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Declan Rice opens up on "obscene" workload as David Moyes warns "it's not sustainable"

Declan Rice says it is “obscene” that he played 68 games last season… but admits he was working out how he could hit 70.

The West Ham skipper is convinced he hits top gear by maxing out his appearances for West Ham and England, and will be at his peak for the World Cup.

Rice, 23, added up 68 games for club and country between June 2021 and June 2022, and despite the massive work-load he isn’t moaning. But boss David Moyes reckons Rice is England No2 key man after Harry Kane and says playing 68 games is “not sustainable” in future years.

He leads the Hammers at Anderlecht’s Lotto Park on Thursday evening and said: “I worked out last year from June (2021) to June (2022) I played 68 games. That is an obscene amount of games. You have got to stay fit, got to eat the right things, your nutrition has to be good and you have to be spot on throughout the whole year.

“Of course at some point it might take its toll but it is down to the player to find that balance. I am starting to do that again now, I am starting to feel good again and feel sharp. Hopefully I can keep pushing and as a team kick on in Europe and in the league as well. I always walk off the field knackered.

“I like to keep playing, to keep the momentum building. That’s where the confidence flies. When the season was closing up I was trying to see how many I could get. From the Euros to the end of the season was 68 and I was thinking: 'How can I get 70 in?!’

“I just wanted to keep pushing and get as many as possible. I feel like the more games I play... I don't like to rest. You only get one career and you want to maximise that. When you hit that amount of games it is a proud moment for yourself. It shows the hard work you have put in. Before Silkeborg last month, I said to the manager that I wanted to play. I want to play in every game.”

Rice said it was “important not to do anything silly” and get crocked before Qatar, and Moyes has seen him grow from being around Gareth Southgate and his England squad.

Rice is set for another hectic season and will go to the World Cup as one of England's most vital players (


The FA via Getty Images)

Moyes said of Rice: “He is a great ambassador for himself and West Ham. Part of being a leader is showing what your worth is. He learns a lot from England. They have a fantastic manager and top players and it gives him the chance to see how the top people work and manoeuvre.

“Dec is one of the main boys for England. After Harry Kane he is arguably their most important player and it shows how far he has come.

“It is not sustainable to play (70 in a year). I hope the authorities look into it. I hope after the World Cup they can level it out. Even for their own lives, they have a great life, but they need some time with their families. Declan has a new baby and has probably not had enough time with the baby.”

Anderlect are tenth in the Belgian league and will mark their 1976 European Cup Winners’ Cup win over West Ham before the game.