Lawes closing in on Saints comeback as he celebrates Lions call

Courtney Lawes says he will be ready to return to Saints action in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 5:06 pm
Courtney Lawes

And the England star has expressed his delight at having the chance to represent the British & Irish Lions again this summer.

On Thursday afternoon, Lawes was named in the 37-man for the Lions' upcoming tour of South Africa.

He admits it was a surprise but is now setting his sights on a return to action for Saints, having been sidelined since February due to a pectoral injury picked up in England training.

And Lawes wants to hit the ground running when he gets back to playing for his club as he looks to stake a claim for a Lions starting spot.

“I’m only a couple of weeks away from being fit now, two or three weeks, so I’ll get a bit of game time before the end of the season, which is great,” said Lawes.

“And luckily due to experience I’ve been able to come back and pick up where I’ve left off from the last couple of injuries, so hopefully I’ll continue that and I feel like I’ll be able to.

“And in terms of the tour, I think it’s going to be great, obviously it’s going to be very, very different, with all of the Covid stuff going on.

“But I think we’ll just climb into it and work hard.

“Hopefully the best players on the best form will be picked for the Tests.

“And I’m looking forward to hopefully putting my name forward.”

Lawes was one of two Saints players named in the Lions squad, with fly-half Dan Biggar also part of the group.

And when asked whether he thinks Biggar could grab the Lions 10 shirt, Lawes said: “Yeah of course he has a chance to start the Tests.

“And it will be an interesting battle between him and Finn Russell because they are both on great form, and they are quite different 10s.

“And it will be very interesting to see who gets picked and what kind of form they are on in a Lions shirt.

“But he’s got a hell of a shot at starting in the Tests.”

While Biggar may have anticipated being named in the Lions squad, Lawes says it came as a complete surprise to him.

He and Biggar were informed of the news at training in front of their team-mates.

And the 32-year-old said: “I was pretty surprised, I just didn’t really have any clue.

“Some players got emails and things like that, but I didn’t get an email.

“I didn’t last time either, so I was pretty much in the dark and waiting to see if I would get a shot basically.

“And obviously not being fit at the minute I thought my chances were quite slim, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

“I don’t think I really worried about it too much.

“I kind of guessed I didn’t get an email either because I’m in the team, or because I’m nowhere near the team!

“So I just didn’t really worry too much about it.

“We were out training, then Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) pulled us all in and let everybody know that me and Biggs were in the team.

“It was very cool. I’m glad I was in because it would have been awkward if Biggs was in and I wasn’t!”

The Lions will take on Japan in Edinburgh on June 26 before heading out for eight matches in South Africa, with the three-Test series against the world champion Springboks starting on July 24.