Lawrence gets the nod for first competitive start
Stoke City midfielder Liam Lawrence has been named in the Republic of Ireland team to face Italy in Saturday's FIFA World Cup qualifier at Croke Park (8pm).
Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni says he is rewarding Lawrence for his match-winning display against South Africa last month when he scored a superb goal in only his second outing at international level.
"Lawrence against South Africa, he convinced me. He has two or three different qualities to other players," said Trap.
"When I told him (that he was playing), he wasn't emotional. That's important because sometimes players go red with shyness. He is experiencd and it was an important signal to me."
The Stoke City playmaker lines up on the right-wing, with Aiden McGeady to operate on the opposite flank. The central midfield pairing will be Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews.
Richard Dunne and Sean St. Ledger have both recovered from the knocks which required them to miss some training earlier in the week to take the central-defence berths, flanked by full-backs John O'Shea and Kevin Kilane. Goalkeeper Shay Given will earn cap number 99.
Captain Robbie Keane will play alongside Kevin Doyle in attack.
Ireland team v Italy: Shay Given (Manchester City); John O'Shea (Manchester Utd), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Sean St Ledger (Middleborough), Kevin Kilbane (Hull City); Liam Lawrence (Stoke City), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Keith Andrews (Blackburn Rovers), Aidan McGeady (Celtic); Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Robbie Keane (Tottenham Hotspur).