Lawrence named in Wales squad after drink-driving charge

Ryan Giggs has included the Derby County forward as part of his latest pool of international call-ups

Tom Lawrence has been named in the Wales squad for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Slovakia and Croatia.

The call-up comes a week after local police charged Lawrence and Derby County team-mate Mason Bennett with drink-driving following a crash on the night of a scheduled team-building dinner.

Both players featured in Derby’s 2-2 draw at Barnsley on Wednesday but were roundly booed when their names were called out by the stadium’s announcer.

Speaking after the match, Rams boss Phillip Cocu told the press of the pair’s inclusion: “[I picked them] to give the team, the fans and the club something back. That’s why I did it 

“It still doesn’t change the fact of what we said as a club. They are not off the hook. We made it very clear that there will be disciplinary sanctions and actions for the players. But you have to move on after a certain time and they weren’t included in the last game. 

“They are affected by it very much. I spoke the last few days a lot with the players and they were eager to go and play.”

Lawrence and Bennett are due to appear at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court on Tuesday, October 15.

Elsewhere, Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey returns to the squad after missing September’s qualifying win over Azerbaijan and the friendly against Belarus.

Ryan Giggs has also recalled veteran centre-back Ashley Williams, now of Bristol City, while exciting youngsters Dan James of Man Utd and Harry Wilson – on loan at Bournemouth from Liverpool – also make the cut.

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale captained the team in their last qualifier against Azerbaijan and will have an important part to play as Wales, fourth in Group E, attempt to improve their automatic qualifying prospects.

Full Wales squad to face Slovakia & Croatia:

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny ward, Adam Davies

Defenders: Chris Gunter, Ben Davies, Connor Roberts, Ethan Ampadu, Chris Mepham, tom Lockyer, Joe Rodon

Midfielders: Joe Allen, Jonathan Williams, Harry Wilson, Matthew Smith, Daniel James, Will Vaulks, Joe Morrell, Dylan Levitt

Forwards: Gareth Bale, Sam Vokes, Ben Woodburn, Ryan Hedges, Kieffer Moore

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