Saints star Lawes on England bench for New Zealand showdown

Courtney Lawes will be back in action for England (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Courtney Lawes will be back in action for England (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Courtney Lawes has recovered from a back problem to take his place on the England bench for Saturday's game against New Zealand at Twickenham (kick-off 3pm).

Lawes has been nursing the injury since being forced off during the second half of Saints' win at Bristol on September 29.

He did return to face the Dragons on October 19, but he was unable to play a part in England's opening Quilter International, against South Africa last Saturday.

However, he has trained fully all week and will now be among the replacements for the game against the All Blacks.

Dylan Hartley, who co-captained England to a 12-11 victory against the Springboks last weekend, again starts at hooker.

England boss Eddie Jones said: “The expectation for Saturday is no different to any other Test match.

"We want to be at our best, better than we were in the previous Test match and we want to play with pride and passion which ignites the fan.

"It’s been a good week, the players have recovered well, trained well on Tuesday, exceptionally well on Wednesday and we look forward to the challenge of taking on New Zealand on Saturday.

“The crowd last week was wonderful, we had great support and enthusiasm for the game and they saw a great Test match and I’m sure on Saturday they will see another.”

England: Daly; Ashton, Slade, Te'o, May; Farrell (cc), Youngs; Moon, Hartley (cc), Sinckler; Itoje, Kruis; Shields, Underhill, Wilson.
Replacements: George, Hepburn, Williams, Ewels, Lawes, Care, Ford, Nowell.