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Lawes doesn't want enforcer tag

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 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.

While the 24-year-old Northampton lock 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'm pretty light," he said.

"I've always had that mindset where you give your body to the fans, to the rugby and the team. What happens, happens.

"I am not going to back out of a tackle because a guy is bigger. I have just a better technique when I am doing it.

"I don't consider myself a cheap-shot player. I never throw punches, stamp, or anything like that.

"I may have made a late tackle depending on whose side you are on.

"These are marginal things. Most of the time I can't stop anyway. I just do my thing.

"I'm not an enforcer but like to make tackles, carry ball and get over the gain line.

"When you think about enforcers you think about guys like Botha - big physical guys who are very much on the edge with referees.

"They are also on the edge of what you can and can't get away with in terms of cheap shots here and there."

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."


From Belfast Telegraph