England thrilled by Lawes return

Date published: March 11 2015

England forward coach Graham Rowntree is delighted to have second row Courtney Lawes in contention for selection to face Scotland.

Lawes is expected to come back into England's starting XV to replace George Kruis after England's locks struggled in their loss to Ireland.

The Northampton Saints forward recently returned to action from ankle surgery and has proved his fitness in two games for the Premiership leaders since his comeback.

"Courtney is a special player. He's really maturing as a player and as a person. You can't hide what he can bring to us physically," said Rowntree.

"I've watched his last two games for Northampton and he's played well. He's played exceptionally well for us over the last year and he's back to his best.

"Courtney is capable of the grunt work and that area of his game has significantly improved.

"We all know what he can do carrying-wise, athletically in defence and at line-out time, but I'm not worried about his lack of work-rate or having to balance him up."

Rowntree also expects a reaction from England captain Chris Robshaw after he delivered an underwhelming performance in Dublin.

"I've been happy with Chris during this last six months. He did well in the autumn and was outstanding against Wales," added Rowntree.

"He played well against Italy but did not have his best game in Ireland against a very good outfit in terms of breakdown and set piece. But he was not the only player who didn't have his best game.

"We have had some frank reviews and I'm sure we will have a reaction from Chris this weekend."