Lawrence relishing Republic chance
Stoke midfielder Liam Lawrence is happy to swap his holiday for a chance at getting Republic of Ireland closer to next year's World Cup. Lawrence, rewarded for his form this season with a call-up to Giovanni Trapattoni's squad, should be in Las Vegas celebrating Stoke's Premier League survival. But he is set to face Nigeria in a friendly at Craven Cottage on Friday before heading to Sofia for a World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria. The 27-year-old said: "I was supposed to be in Vegas with the Stoke boys for a celebration but that got cancelled sharply and I unpacked the shorts and flip-flops. I'd give that up any day to play this week. "It's good to be back in the squad and hopefully I'll get my chance. I didn't think it was going to come but I've been playing every week and doing well. "It's given me a chance and hopefully I'll take it. The bar is raised again and it is up for me to step up."
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