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Blow for England as explosive Lawes set to miss start of Six Nations

The 25-year-old lock will undergo ankle surgery today but may be back in time to face Ireland.

It is anticipated that Lawes will be fit again to play Ireland in March.
It is anticipated that Lawes will be fit again to play Ireland in March.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

ENGLAND LOCK COURTNEY Lawes is set to miss the first few weeks of the upcoming Six Nations because of an ankle injury, the Northampton second row’s club coach Jim Mallinder has reveaked.

Mallinder, speaking after Northampton’s 20-9 Champions Cup win away to the Ospreys in Swansea, said Lawes would undergo surgery on Monday.

The Saints coach’s comments indicated Lawes will miss both England’s Six Nations opener away to Wales in Cardiff on February 6 and their Twickenham encounter with Italy the following week.

However, it is thought that Lawes could be in line for a return against Joe Schmidt’s Ireland in Dublin on 1 March.

Lawes’s absence would deprive England coach Stuart Lancaster of both of his first-choice locks given Wasps’ Joe Launchbury has been ruled out of the entire Six Nations after undergoing neck surgery.

The 25-year-old Lawes, who missed the Ospreys match, has not played since before Christmas when he suffered the injury against Leicester.

“Courtney, unfortunately, has not recovered from his ankle injury,” Mallinder said. “He will be going in for a little operation on Monday.

Courtney Lawes  wins a line-out Lawes played against Ireland at Twickenham last year. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“He has got a little bit of bone that he just needs clearing out, so he is going to miss the first few weeks of the Six Nations, as well as missing next week [when Northampton face Racing Metro].”

However, Mallinder added: “He would be expected to get back [playing] while the Six Nations is still going on.

It is a blow for us because we haven’t got him for next week, and it is a blow for him and England because he is a key player.”

For England coach Stuart Lancaster, who is due to announce his Six Nations squad on Wednesday, Lawes’s injury is the latest setback to his hopes of fielding a settled side ahead of this year’s World Cup on home soil.

It now looks as if Geoff Parling and Dave Attwood will, if fit, form England’s lock partnership against Wales, with Saracens second row George Kruis only returning from a three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle shortly before the Millennium Stadium match.

- © AFP, 2014

‘It’s good to see everything happen the way it’s supposed to happen’ — Devin Toner

‘We’ve left our fans down, we’ve left our families down’ – Peter O’Mahony

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