Giggs de­fends de­ci­sion to stand by Lawrence

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Football - By Phil Blanche

Ryan Giggs has ex­plained why he de­cided to se­lect Tom Lawrence for Wales de­spite the Derby County for­ward be­ing due in court on a drink-driv­ing charge this month.

Lawrence was charged af­ter a crash in­volv­ing his Range Rover Sport. The 25-year-old is due to ap­pear at South­ern Der­byshire Mag­is­trates’ Court on Oct 15 – two days af­ter Wales play Croa­tia in their Euro 2020 qual­i­fier in Cardiff.

“It wasn’t an easy de­ci­sion,” Giggs, the Wales man­ager, said. “It was a case of speak­ing to every­one in­volved: my staff, the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion of Wales and Derby. I spoke to Phillip Cocu [Derby man­ager] to see what Derby’s stance was. It was a con­ver­sa­tion to make sure we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.”

Lawrence missed Derby’s 3-2 Cham­pi­onship win over Birm­ing­ham on Satur­day fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, in which team-mate Ma­son Ben­nett was also charged with drink-driv­ing. But he started the 2-2 draw at Barns­ley on Wed­nes­day, when sec­tions of both sets of sup­port­ers booed his name.

Derby have said there will be a “rig­or­ous in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion” into the in­ci­dent, and Cocu has sug­gested there will be a range of dis­ci­plinary ac­tions taken against those in­volved.

“Tom is dis­ap­pointed with his ac­tions and he’s go­ing to be pun­ished [by Derby],” Giggs said. “I spoke to him and he was a bit down.

“He has that court date but in the mean­time he will be able to get on with his ca­reer. It’s not go­ing to be easy be­cause he’ll be think­ing about that. I’ll see how he trains and then make a de­ci­sion on whether or not to start him.”

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