Paris holds no fear for England

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 19:17
Large courtneylawesenglandtrain Large courtney lawes pumas630 Large courtney lawes saints

Courtney Lawes says England’s pack are confident of asserting themselves against Les Bleus at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Courtney Lawes says England’s pack are confident of asserting themselves against Les Bleus at the Stade de France on Saturday.

The lock is under no illusions as to the eye-watering physical confrontation that awaits England.

Given Phillipe Saint-André has selected just nine backs in a burly match-day 23, a close-quarter arm-wrestle is extremely likely.

Even so, Lawes insisted Graham Rowntree’s forwards would not shirk an acid test of their tournament credentials.

“They’re just going to big boys in the pack and they’re going to look to dominate us. It’s going to be a big challenge for us and if we win, we’ll have a great platform to go off,” he said.

“[We back ourselves], especially in the scrum and the line-out. We’re very strong and organised there - technically very good. That counts for a lot.”

Lawes added he is delighted to have enjoyed an injury-free season so far. H started all three internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand at Twickenham in November - the first time he has managed such a feat in Test matches since 2010.

Throw in some marauding domestic and European form for Northampton Saints and the 24-year-old has reason to feel assured and comfortable heading into the Six Nations.

“It’s just good to be fit this year - touch wood - and playing consistent rugby,” said the towering lock. “Getting 80 minutes every week is hard on the body but it’s good on the mind.

“I just want to go out there and play the best I can. If my game doesn’t have any mistakes in it, the rest is a bonus.”

In the absence of Geoff Parling, Lawes has had the added responsibility of calling the line-outs - a mental burden that was initially tough to mix with his trademark all-action contributions in the loose.

However, in tandem with Joe Launchbury, he grew into the role and most prominently during the 22-30 defeat to Steve Hansen’s All Blacks he was able to influence elsewhere thanks to relentless carrying and breakdown work.

“It’s a lot more pressure. I found at the start of the series because I was so worried about calling the line-outs I didn’t perhaps do as much in the loose.

“Towards the end I got that balance right. Now I’ve just got to carry on with that.”

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 June 2016
Samoa v Tonga 02h00 Apia
United States v Russia 02h00 Sacramento
New Zealand v Wales 07h35 Dunedin
Australia v England 10h00 Sydney
Japan v Scotland 10h30 Nagoya
Italy U20 v Japan U20 11h00 Manchester
Griffons v Free State Cheetahs 12h10 Welkom
Griquas v Sharks 13h00 Kimberley
Georgia U20 v France U20 13h15 Manchester
Argentina U20 v South Africa U20 13h30 Salford
Boland v Namibia 14h00 Wellington
South Africa v Ireland 15h00 Port Elizabeth
Scotland U20 v Wales U20 15h30 Manchester
Australia U20 v New Zealand U20 15h45 Salford
Ireland U20 v England U20 18h00 Salford
Argentina v France 18h10 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 June 2016
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0