'I'm not an enforcer' insists Lawes
November 5, 2013
'I'd probably be the smallest enforcer in the world' © Getty Images
Courtney Lawes is reluctant to be viewed as England's 'enforcer', but will continue to give his "body to the fans and team".
Lawes' physicality - he is 6'7" and weighs in at over 17 stone - has resulted in an eagerness to cast him in a similar role to feared second-row hardmen such as former England captain Martin Johnson and Bakkies Botha of South Africa.
Lawes, 24, will continue to play his abrasive brand of rugby, he stresses it will remain on the right side of the referee's whistle.
"I'd probably be the smallest enforcer in the world, I think. I'm pretty light for an enforcer! I've always had that kind of mindset: you give your body to the fans, to the rugby and what happens, happens. I've always been that kind of person. I'm not going to back out of a tackle.
"When you think about enforcers you think about Bakkies Botha and other South Africans, big physical guys who are very much on the edge in terms of referees and what you can and cannot get away with in terms of cheap things here and there.
"But I don't consider myself a cheap player, I never throw punches or stamp, or anything like that. I just do my thing. I am not an enforcer but like to make tackles, carry ball and get over the gain line."
Lawes has won 23 caps since making his debut in 2009, but would have been more involved with England had he not been troubled by a string of injuries.
"There's a hell of a lot more to come from me," he said. "If I can take my Northampton game and bring it here I can do a lot more. The more involvement I get, the better I'm going to play.
"Being able to get a lot of game-time this year means I've got some good form back under my belt and I feel like I deserve to be here because I'm playing at top form and maybe better than some of the other players in my position.
"I just hope that I can stay fit and be able to really push on and reach the place I've always felt that I could reach. I still have a long way to go."
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