Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Lawes will not rein in physicality

England lock Courtney Lawes insisted he will not change his approach to the game, despite serving a two-match World Cup ban for striking Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma with his knee.

Lawes maintains the ban that ruled him out of England's victories over Georgia and Romania was "harsh" and that there was no malicious intent in the challenge.

After two weeks on the sidelines, Lawes is ready to channel all his frustrations into Saturday's decisive Pool B showdown with Scotland, and when asked whether he would rein in his game, he said: "No. I am not going to. I played well, I am always a physical player and that is how I am going to be."

He added: "I thought (the ban) was a bit harsh. There wasn't too much else I could do, I didn't try and do anything malicious.

"I am always physical, I don't aim to hurt people and that is part of my game I think.

"The message (from England manager Martin Johnson) is very much to keep doing what I am doing. I don't give away too many penalties or do stupid things, I just make big hits when I can.

"I am looking forward to making amends and picking up from where I left off."

Although Lawes will be at full pelt against Scotland, assuming he is selected, Johnson did instruct him to rein things back on the training field over the last two weeks.

Johnson recently described how Lawes hits with such ferocity that his tackles all carry a "distinctive sound" - but that has been banned.

"I have been trying to train as hard as I can without injuring any of the boys," said Lawes. "(Defence coach) Mike Ford told me not to injure any of his 10s!"


From Belfast Telegraph