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Lawes boost for England

Tue, 27 Nov 2012 19:22
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It is a challenge we will meet head on
Quote-end

Courtney Lawes was on Tuesday included in the 23-man England squad ahead of Saturday’s clash with the All Blacks at Twickenham.

The Northampton Saints lock missed the opening three games of the November Tests with a knee injury but after starting for his club in their 23-16 Premiership victory over London Welsh he is deemed fit enough for a place in the matchday squad.

Lawes, 23, replaces South African-born Mouritz Botha, with the other change from the defeat to South Africa seeing flyhalf Freddie Burns – recently named Premiership Player of the Month – coming in for Toby Flood, who has injured a ligament in his right toe.

After naming his final group of 2012, England coach Stuart Lancaster paid tribute to the contribution of those he has had to leave out.

“Firstly to those guys who won’t be coming back in tomorrow. Their attitude over the last five weeks has been first-rate with the energy and enthusiasm they have brought to the squad both on and off the field.

“Unfortunately we can only pick 23 but they have all pushed hard for selection and I know they will go back to their clubs hungry to force their way into the Elite Player Squad in January.

“For those in Saturday’s squad the message is clear - last week we went toe to toe with the second best team in the world and felt we should have won.

“Now we have a chance to take on the number one side in front of a passionate Twickenham crowd, who have been fantastic throughout the November internationals, and it is a challenge we will meet head on.”

Forwards (13): Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), James Haskell (London Wasps), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), David Paice (London Irish), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) , Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Backs (10): Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens) , Mike Brown (Harlequins) , Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Danny Care (Harlequins) , Owen Farrell (Saracens) , Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish) , Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) , Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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