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Pulis over the moon at Shawcross call-up

Tony Pulis has sung the praises of Ryan Shawcross as the defender waits to see whether he will become the first Stoke player to win a full England cap for 28 years.

Shawcross, 25, received the birthday present he dreamed of when he was named in Roy Hodgson's squad on Thursday for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland later this month.

Wales manager Chris Coleman recently enquired about the possibility of the Manchester United product playing for his side - an opportunity the defender declined in the hope that England would come calling.

And Shawcross, who has been called up to the England squad previously for the friendly against Egypt, was elated with his decision to stick to his guns.

"I'm delighted to be selected again," he said. "The manager broke the news to me on the training ground this morning, so I'm really happy and looking forward now to joining up."

However, there is disappointment in the Potteries that in-form Peter Crouch has once more been overlooked by Hodgson - Pulis joked last week that he wished the striker was Welsh, like him.

But Shawcross' selection, which could make him the first Stoke player to represent England since Mark Chamberlain in 1984, is major compensation.

"He has gradually got better year after year with us, so this is just reward for the performances he has been putting in week in, week out for this club," said Pulis. "The kid is desperate to play for England. He just needs a chance at international level and I am sure that when he gets an opportunity, he will take it.

"We think the world of him at this club. He's still only young but he's captain here and the other lads respect and look up to him. I am delighted for Ryan and his family that he has received this call-up but I'm also delighted for this club. It is the first time since 1984 that a Stoke City player has been called up for a competitive England squad."

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