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Injured Lawes to miss South Africa tour

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes has become the latest forward to be ruled out of England's summer tour to South Africa due to a shin injury, his club boss Jim Mallinder has said.

The 23-year-old has been out of action since suffering a stress fracture in the RBS 6 Nations defeat to Wales, which capped an injury-hit tournament for the second row, after a knee injury caused him to miss England's opening two fixtures.

Mallinder told BBC Northampton: "We were hoping he might play some part this season but it's looking like he has not quite recovered enough from his shin injury, so it looks like he'll probably not play for the remainder of this season for Saints or for England."

He added: "He is gutted, you want to be involved in the big games, that means semi-finals, if we get there, and finals and, of course, going on England tours."

Lawes' Northampton team-mate Tom Wood had already been ruled out of the trip to South Africa after a recurrence of the foot injury that forced him to miss the Six Nations.

Leicester flanker Tom Croft will also miss out after suffering a neck injury in the Tigers' recent Premiership win at Harlequins.

One man who will be going to South Africa is Mike Catt, after the former England centre was added to boss Stuart Lancaster's coaching staff for the tour.

Catt, who will leave current club London Irish after Saturday's Premiership finale against Gloucester, has a chance to stake a claim for a full-time position having been awarded a deal until the end of June.

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