England hopeful over Lawes

Date published: October 31 2016

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England head coach Eddie Jones is "cautiously optimistic" that Courtney Lawes will be available for the side's first November Test against South Africa.

With regular starting locks Maro Itoje and George Kruis both ruled out of the November Tests, second-row Lawes is likely to play a prominent role for England, if fit.

"Courtney's medical situation is ongoing. He probably won't train much this week, if at all," Jones told PA Sport.

"We're cautiously optimistic he'll be all right for the South Africa game."

Jones also opted for a positive outlook on England's long list of injuries, which have hit them hardest particularly in the second and back rows and including wingers Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell.

The head coach hopes to see England's depth deliver in the absence of key starters, having won nine out of nine Tests this year.

"Rugby is a physical, contact game. England pride themselves on having depth so this is a great opportunity to show how much depth we've got," Jones added.

"We've got an absolute plethora of injuries so we're trying to work out who is going to be right and who isn't. But we'll get there.

"What I do know is that we'll have a fit 23 players who are ready to beat South Africa."

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