Ireland looking for vengeance after Lansdowne loss - Courtney Lawes

The England and Northampton lock is looking forward to playing at Twickenham again after two weeks of travel.

Courtney Lawes has a run-in with Rob Kearney's knee during last season's Six Nations.
Courtney Lawes has a run-in with Rob Kearney's knee during last season's Six Nations.
Image: David Davies/PA Wire

COURTNEY LAWES MADE his England debut during Ireland’s Grand Slam year of 2009. He made a habit, in his early Test days, of doing battle with southern hemisphere sides and missed the tail-end of the Irish ‘golden era’.

England have beaten Ireland on their last three outings and Lawes has featured in two of those successes. He came on for the final 10 minutes of England’s 12-6 victory over Declan Kidney’s men and found time to get severely dazed after taking a knee in the head from a charging Rob Kearney. Now a regular starter in Stuart Lancaster’s side, Lawes is hoping to leave Ireland in a similar state.

Having played their first two Six Nations games away, Twickenham will welcome back last year’s second placed side, and host an Ireland team now coached by Joe Schmidt. Lawes recalls that Ireland came into their encounter with England, last February, on a high having defeat reigning champions Wales.

Despite having 42% possession, losing three of their scrums and four lineouts, England were comfortable winners at a rain-soaked Lansdowne Road. The only reason for cheer that day, as Simon Zebo and Jonny Sexton limped off, was that Brian O’Driscoll had become a first-time father some five hours before kick-off.

Lawes told Sky Sports, “They’ll have a bit of vengeance in mind, I’d imagine, from last year. It’s going to be a hell of a competition against Ireland and I’m looking forwards to it.”

During the injury-enforced absence of Lions star Geoff Parling, Lawes has struck up a forceful second row partnership with Joe Launchbury. The duo will be high alert on Saturday week as they come face(s)-to-face(s) with Ireland’s Devin Toner and Paul O’Connell. Lawes will be hoping that the bulk of Twickenham’s 82,000 crowd will help take the sting from Ireland’s lethal rolling maul.

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“It’s good to get back to Twickers,” he said, “and get those home fans on our side — get that stadium buzzing again. Hopefully we can start well, get the stadium behind us and crack on from there.”

Lawes added, “It’s still early and we got a 20-0 win [against Scotland] under our belts. We can go ahead now and if we win the rest of our games we’re in with a [championship] shot.”

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Patrick McCarry

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