Lawes chomping at the bit
September 26, 2011
England lock Courtney Lawes is eligible to return to action this weekend © Getty Images
Courtney Lawes is hoping for an immediate recall to the England second-row for Saturday's crunch Rugby World Cup clash with Scotland after completing his two-week suspension for striking an opponent.
The 22-year-old lock was banned for a fortnight for lashing out at Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma during England's 13-9 victory over the Pumas on the opening weekend of the tournament.
However, Lawes is eligible for this weekend's meeting with the Scots in Auckland and although he is well aware that he faces stiff competition for a starting berth with Louis Deacon, Tom Palmer and Simon Shaw, the Northampton Saints ace is planning to convince team manager Martin Johnson on the training paddock in the coming days that he is worthy of inclusion.
"There was a very good game at the weekend (against Romania) and a lot of the boys played really well," he said. "I think in training this week I have to do whatever I can to try and get back into the team. The next couple of days will tell when I find out the team."
As for his two-week suspension, Lawes feels that he was hard done by, insisting that there had been no malice in his offence.
"I thought it was a bit harsh but what can you do? You just have to get on with it and take it on the chin and that's what I have done," he said. "It has never happened before. I didn't try and do anything malicious, I'm always physical but I don't aim to hurt people, that's just part of my game."
Despite the fact that Lawes felt that his punishment had been too severe, he thought better of launching an appeal.
"There was no point in risking it. If I miss out on Scotland then I might struggle to get back into the team for the quarter-finals," Lawes said. "I have only been cited once in the five years I have been playing so it is pretty rare and I don't think it is going to happen again soon."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton
Cards, kicks, slips and scores: It's The Week in Pictures, the finest snaps from the last seven days of rugby
Huw Richards Rewinds to 1975 when three Welsh legends were handed their debuts and assesses their legacy
Seven places in the Champions Cup quarter-finals are up for grabs; we break down the permutations for each group in the final round of matches